Demba Ba is almost certainly staying at Newcastle United for the coming campaign.
Ba’s well-documented £7m release clause lapsed last night– and the striker would now cost double that figure.
The 27-year-old – linked with a move away from St James’s Park since January – flew back to England from Portugal with his team-mates yesterday.
And United manager Alan Pardew will be relieved that Ba will be a Newcastle player when the new season kicks off against Tottenham Hotspur on August 18.
However, Pardew knows he also needs to strengthen his squad.
Work is ongoing on a deal to bring right-back Mathieu Debuchy to St James’s Park.
Lille are holding out for upwards of £6m for the 27-year-old, who is also interesting Inter Milan.
Reports in France have suggested there could be a long-awaited breakthrough later today.
Meanwhile, the club watched Vurnon Anita play for Ajax against Norwich City last night.
Anita, rated at £8m, can play as a left-back or defensive midfielder.
* Newcastle United have reportedly failed in their bid to secure Category One status for the club’s Academy in the Premier League’s new system for youth development.