Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has warned Moussa Sissoko over attracting interest from Real Madrid via the media.
The 26-year-old is understood to be a target for the Spanish giants, although the €40m fee they have been quoted could be a major stumbling block, but Benitez believes the France international’s recent comments are the wrong way of going about it if he is seeking to engineer a move.
“I hope Real will come for me, I'm still waiting. If Real Madrid are interested in you then of course you will be happy, but right now I am still a Newcastle player,” affirmed Sissoko, while Benitez is adamant the player will not be sold for less than €40m considering he still has two years left on his contract.
“I told Moussa we know how things work in modern football and that is not the right way,” the former Los Blancos boss told the BBC.
“I said, ‘you are a professional, you are our player, and I rate you very highly. I like you as a person but keep working hard and let other people do their business’.
“If someone thinks they can wait until the end of August it will be easier, I can guarantee it will be more difficult then. If someone wants him they need to come in now with the right offer and we’ll study it.
“If not he is still our player and he must carry on working hard. Every day will be more difficult because we are happy with him and don’t need to sell.”
Madrid are said to have targeted Sissoko as an alternative after losing out on Paul Pogba to Manchester United, having learned of the former’s desire to leave Newcastle with the Spanish capital his favoured destination.