Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed unsettled striker Demba Ba could leave the club for as little as £7 million when the transfer window reopens in January.
• Blog: Demba Blah
• Pardew denies Ba rift
Pardew left Ba exasperated after dropping the striker for Monday night's Premier League game at Everton, before coming off the bench to score twice in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
The decision subsequently inspired Ba's agent to hint at a move away from Tyneside for his client, with Pardew clearly riled the turn of events that have undermined preparations for his side's Europa League opener against Maritimo in Portugal on Thursday night.
"I've told Demba I was disappointed with some of the comments around him, but I will not let the words of anyone affect what I consider to be my good relationship with the player," Pardew told reporters. "I just think the agent stuff was people saying things they shouldn't say, really.
"There is a clause in his contract that makes us vulnerable to losing him and that situation is ongoing, but we cannot worry about that for now.
"The bottom line is that you have to get your players to play at their best, and sometimes there are different methods for doing that. If I'm honest, he gave me exactly what I wanted at Everton, but I knew there would be a response from him.
"Sometimes you've got to be honest, and I don't think he's played particularly well. The same can be said of Papiss Cisse at times this season, so he might have to deal with missing out next time."
Ba is among a clutch of star names left out of the Newcastle squad for their trip to Maritimo, with his strike partner Cisse, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa all left at home as Pardew keeps one eye firmly on Sunday's Premier League game against Norwich.
"While our Europa League campaign is of huge significance to all of us at Newcastle, the Premier League fixtures have to remain as our number one priority if we want to continue to grow this club," he adds.