Newcastle target Moussa Sissoko banned by Toulouse over transfer row

The Ligue 1 side have suspended the midfielder, whose contract expires in the summer due to an ongoing dispute, with the Magpies thought to be leading the race to sign him
Newcastle United target Moussa Sissoko has been banned by Toulouse due to an ongoing row over the player's long-term future.

The midfielder will miss their Coupe de France tie against PSG after club chairman Olivier Sadran punished the 23-year-old, whose contract is set to expire in the summer.

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The Magpies are thought to be leading the race for his signature ahead of a host of other Premier League clubs - with a pre-contract agreement reportedly close to being in place.

Toulouse coach Alain Casanova has backed his chairman's decision, although he conceded his absence will be a loss to the side.

"The whole club shows full solidarity to that chairman's decision," he told L'Equipe.

"It is really a shame a player educated at the club could leave as free agent. His absence is big loss for the team, but that decision is logical."

Sissoko has been a regular in the Toulouse side in recent seasons, and has made five appearances for France.

Newcastle have tied up deals for Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in recent days, and are set to seal a move for Yoann Gouffran soon after the player revealed on Twitter that he would be joining the Premier League side.