NEWCASTLE UNITED'S pursuit of Marseille forward Loic Remy was dealt a blow yesterday after coach Elie Baup hinted he could stay at the club until the summer.
The Magpies look resigned to a long, drawn-out chase for the 26-year-old, who they have identified as a their top target to replace Demba Ba.
A host of other clubs, including Shalke and Borussia Dortmund, are also interested in signing the former Nice front man and the Magpies would have to fork out at least £10m for his services.
Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has held an initial round of talks with Marseille officials, but reports suggest a bid is yet to be made.
Remy joined his Marseille team-mates at a training camp in Morocco this week and coach Baup has poured cold water on Newcastle's attempts to sign the striker.
"As this is the third transfer window where we are talking about his departure, he does not focus on it,"
Baup said. "He seeks primarily to regain his touch. The physical side, he has found. He must now partner that with the co-ordination of movements and feeling of the game.
"For a year, every transfer window, we have been talking about his departure," Baup told La Provence. "But he is still there. Maybe he still will be in the summer."
Newcastle are monitoring other targets, which include St Etienne's Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng and Rennes' forward Mevlut Erdinc, who they have been linked with a move for previously.