Newcastle United have reportedly told defender Chancel Mbemba not to return to preseason training with the club, as Rafael Benitez is keen to sell the player in a bid to raise funds for incoming transfer deals.
The Spanish manager will not be giving the player a chance in the first team next season as he hopes to sell him on, with the most likely buyers being Portuguese side Porto.
According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle are yet to receive an offer for the defender which they deem acceptable, suggesting that he will remain with the Magpies for now.
The Congolese international has been at Newcastle for three seasons, signing in 2015 from Belgian side Anderlecht, but has since found himself outside of the starting XI. Mbemba was a key part of the Newcastle side that won promotion from the Championship in 2017, but he only made nine Premier League appearances for the Magpies last summer and is subsequently set to leave the club.
Due to owner Mike Ashley's stringent - some would say idiotic - transfer policy, Rafa Benitez has been forced to sell players before he can buy, and Mbemba appears to be one of the unlucky few to make way for the greater good of the Magpies.
Some progress was made today, as the club managed to secure Chelsea winger Kenedy on loan for the entire upcoming season following his brief stint with the club in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.
However, Newcastle also announced the departure of midfielder Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee.
The hope is that Merino's sale, coupled with Mbemba's expected departure, would raise enough funds for Benitez to add some fresh talent to the Magpies.