When Cheick Tiote flew off to China on Friday it looked like that a deal would be a formality.
The Newcastle midfielder was on his way for talks with Shanghai Shenhua, after the two clubs had agreed a transfer fee of around £5m.
However, Sky Sports now say that they have been informed that four days later there is still no agreement in place, with the player and club some way apart in terms of personal terms.
Cheick Tiote is one of the top earners at Newcastle and with only 18 months of his contract remaining, little surprise that Mike Ashley was keen to get his pay off the wage bill and bank a significant fee before those cahnces fade away.
With both Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet arriving, clearly Tiote has no foreseeable place in the Newcastle first team picture, with Jack Colback also seemingly ahead of him.
Shanghai Shenhua already have massive earners such as Demba Ba and Tim Cahill at the club, so any deal for Cheick Tiote won’t be in excess of those two contracts.
You would assume ballpark figures had been communicated before Tiote flew off, so you’d assume on balance a deal will still be done.
However, interesting to see what would happen if the Ivory Coast international ended up back at St James Park and you just hope it wouldn’t be detrimental to any other potential transfers happening.