Eddie Howe confirmed Allan Saint-Maximin is “in discussion regarding a move to another club” following Newcastle United’s 2-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox.
The forward was missing from the squad which travelled to Glasgow amid speculation he could leave the club this summer.
There as speculation that the 26-year-old Frenchman, who joined the Magpies in a £16million move from Nice in August 2019, is a target for a Saudi Pro League club with some reports naming Al-Ahli as potential buyers.
Manager Howe said: “Allan is in discussions regarding a move to another club.
“Nothing is confirmed, nothing is done at these stages but that’s why he wasn’t here today.
“With financial fair play you sort of have to trade otherwise, for us this summer we would be stuck in a position where we couldn’t recruit players the other way. That’s how financial fair play works.
“Maxi is a top player. We definitely don’t want to lose him, we want to strengthen the group but sometimes these things happen and we have to accept that.
“It is early to speak of Maxi in the past tense at Newcastle, certainly our respect and love for him is the same as the supporters.
“They love him and we love him and certainly if he does go it will be a difficult moment for all of us.
“There is no immediate plans for him to join us tomorrow but we will wait and see. He could end up with us again and if that is the case we would love to have him back.”
The visitors took the lead in Allan McGregor’s testimonial in the 16th minute when Elliot Anderson slipped in Miguel Almiron who steered the ball low past the 41-year-old keeper.
In the 64th minute Dutch attacker Sam Lammers, signed from Italian side Atalanta, intercepted a slack pass from goalkeeper Karl Darlow to his fellow Toon substitute Bruno Guimaraes before moving in to beat the keeper but with three minutes remaining Scotland Under-21 defender Harrison Ashby leapt to head a cross from Alexander Isak over McGregor’s replacement Jack Butland for the winner.
Howe, who revealed Joelinton was not involved as he had complications with his visa for the impending trip to America although he is expected to join up later, was “very impressed” with the debut of his new signing from AC Milan, midfielder Sandro Tonali.
He said: “He brought everything I thought he would bring in that first 45 minutes.
“Calm, composed, technically high level, good relationships with the players around him.
“He looked at home in a black and white shirt so it was a great start for him.”