Modibo Maiga has refused to play for his club Sochaux in an attempt to force through his move to Newcastle United this summer.
The 23-year-old is a known target for manager Alan Pardew, but the forward's club Sochaux have so far refused to agree a deal to sell Maiga, who scored 15 goals in 36 appearances for the club last season.
And now Maiga says he won’t play until a deal, said to be worth £7 million according to the Northern Echo, is at least discussed between the clubs.
“I am sorry for the fans, my team-mates and the staff,” Maiga said.
“But I am not in the best conditions to play [against Metalist Kharkiv]. It is better for the team to get focused well that I don't play.
“About Newcastle, it is very clear – they want me and I want to go there. They want the transfer to be sorted quickly, but it is not up to me. The worry is Sochaux.”
Newcastle have long been on the lookout for a new striker, with Andy Carroll departing the club back in January for £35 million. Alan Pardew has since been doing plenty of business in France, bringing in four players from the country, with Maiga next on his hit list.
Newcastle are also on the look out for a new left-back to replace the outgoing Jose Enrique, and have reportedly targeted a range of players including PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters and Manchester City's Wayne Bridge.