Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was attempting to head off a fresh crisis after captain Fabricio Coloccini's continued presence on Tyneside was thrown into doubt.
Press Association reported that the 30-year-old Argentina international has not submitted a formal transfer request, but has indicated his desire to return to South America for personal reasons. The club was not commenting on the matter on Friday.
Meanwhile, Argentinian club San Lorenzo have set a deadline in their bid to sign Coloccini.
President Matias Lammens told ESPN Radio Rivadavia: "Time is running out for the signing. When you go for a class A defender, the timings are a bit different, but if in the next week we don't have a response then we will have to go for another option."
Lammens' comments will infuriate the Magpies as they attempt to persuade Coloccini, who signed a four-year contract extension in March last year, that his future remains at St. James' Park.
Coloccini has struggled to reproduce his stunning form of last season with Newcastle underperforming as a team, while Pardew acknowledged there had been a difference of opinion between the two as the busy Christmas schedule approached.
The current issue is understood not to be football-related and while delicate negotiations are under way, the former Deportivo la Coruna player's future remains uncertain ahead of his anticipated return to the squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to Norwich.
Rumors of Coloccini's unrest first surfaced when his father Osvaldo revealed Argentinian club San Lorenzo were keen to recruit him, but the latest development has come at a time when Newcastle least need it after last Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at Brighton capped a miserable run of form.
"It was a difficult situation," Pardew said. "It was a really horrible day for the players and fans and more importantly the staff, but we have to lick our wounds. We are much stronger this week and that is much better for us."
Despite more frustration in his search for a striker to replace the departed Demba Ba, Pardew has had some welcome good news with the arrival of French fullback Mathieu Debuchy and the return to fitness of Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye.
Pardew knows his big names will be needed to end a dismal run of just four points from 10 away league games this season.
"We are getting some senior bodies back around the team at a crucial time," he said. "We really need to get some momentum back for our fans, who we really let down last week. It is important that we give a really good account of ourselves at Norwich and start getting points on the board."
Information from Press Association was used in this report.