By Dominic Toner
Real Madrid have been installed odds-on favourites to sign Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
The Frenchman had his odds slashed to 4/7 by betting company Sky Bet on Saturday morning to join the current Champions League holders.
Real Madrid are in pole position to land Sissoko with the nearest competition coming from Juventus who are priced at 5/2, while the possibility that he will remain at St James’ Park has drifted to 10/1.
Spanish publication Marca claimed this week that Real Madrid were not interested in signing the attacking midfielder.
However the France international strongly suggested in an interview that the Spanish giants had made an approach for him.
“Who would not be flattered,” he told Foot Mercato. “Real Madrid is one or the best clubs in the world. For now, I am still a Newcastle player. I wait. And if it’s Real Madrid, so much the better.
“It’s true that Real Madrid is hard to refuse. But as I said, there will be plenty of things that come into account. We will have to think about. I will take a decision with my agent.”
Sissoko added the north-east club are “open” to letting him leave and his agent is in discussions about joining a more “exclusive” club.
“I still hope to have the chance to join a more exclusive club,” he told Foot Mercato. “Now we are negotiating with Newcastle. My agent has had discussions with the club. They are open to a departure, we are in discussions. We’ll see what happens.”
Newcastle set huge £35million price tag on Sissoko, in the wake of his display in the Euro 2016 final.
The attacking midfielder is contracted with Newcastle until June 2019, but has made it clear he prefers an immediate move back to topflight football rather than fighting for promotion in the Championship next season.
The France international was the outstanding player for his team at Euro 2016 as they lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final, after emerging as a regular for the runners-up in the tournament’s latter stages.
Sissoko was absent from the Newcastle team that began their Championship campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Friday night.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a coach has been ringing Rafa Benitez all summer about signing one of his players.