THE ongoing uncertainty surrounding Newcastle United continues to have a negative effect on the club’s transfer activities, with long-term target Nikola Vlasic now off the market after he agreed to join CSKA Moscow.

Vlasic, a 21-year-old Croatia international, is on the verge of completing a £14m move from Everton to CSKA, with the Russian club having made a decisive move to tie up the deal in the last 24 hours.

Rafael Benitez has long admired Vlasic’s talent, and Everton officials had been anticipating a formal approach from the Magpies.

However, with Benitez’s future extremely uncertain with his current St James’ Park contract due to expire in less than a fortnight, and Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club in the balance as takeover talks continue, Newcastle are not in a position to be able to complete any significant transfer deals.

As a result, they have not tabled a bid for Vlasic, who joined Everton in a £10m deal from Hadjuk Split in 2017.

The youngsters has struggled to make an impact at Goodison Park, but impressed in a loan spell at CSKA last season.

Ideally, he would have preferred to remain in England this summer, but with no other offer on the table, CSKA officials have persuaded him to return to Russia.

Vlasic is set to sign a five-year deal with CSKA, with Newcastle still waiting to make their first signing of the summer.

The Magpies also had a long-standing interest in Wesley, but the Brazilian forward completed a £22m move to newly-promoted Aston Villa last week.

Newcastle’s scouting team watched Wesley on a number of occasions last season, and Benitez had earmarked the 22-year-old as a leading target.

However, as was the case with Vlasic, Newcastle’s inability to move quickly opened the door for a rival to agree a transfer.