Modibo Maiga has been frozen out by Sochaux, with the club hoping to teach the striker a lesson after he refused to play to push through a move to Newcastle.
Maiga, valued by the Shields Gazette at £7 million, came very close to leaving France for England in the summer, but Sochaux were unable to find a replacement signing a refused to do a deal.
Newcastle were particularly disappointed, with the failed sale meaning they didn’t land a striker to replace the departed Andy Carroll in the summer transfer window.
And now, Maiga is struggling for game time, along with Kevin Annin, who also refused to play to push through a move away from the club. Sochaux chairman Alexandre Lacombe insists that the punishment is needed after Maiga tried to force the club’s hand in the Newcastle deal.
“We are working with the ones who want to work,” Lacombe said of his squad.
“It has become unimaginable. It is just up to them to let me know when they will be ready to be serious and reliable.”
Coach Mecha Bazdarevic also weighed in on the debate, telling reporters: “We have been docile and tolerant enough. They must not do that – they have to respect the club. They have been put apart until it will be sorted out.”
Newcastle have said that they still hope to sign a striker in the January transfer window, and Maiga will no doubt be on the clubs transfer wishlist at the start of next year.