Newcastle chairman Derek Llambias has admitted for the first time that the club risk losing midfielder Cheick Tiote in the summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly keen on the Cote d'Ivore international.
Tiote, 25, has been one of the Magpies' most consistent performers this season and the club will hope his return from a six week absence while on international duty will help maintain their push for Champions League football.
The Newcastle star is under contract until 2017 but he was the subject of reported interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea in January.
And Newcastle chairman Llambias has acknowledged that the club could be powerless to retain Tiote, should a big-money offer arrive at the end of the season.
"We'll be losing one or two names this summer, but that'll be regenerated back into the squad. For instance, Tiote has been with us a year and a half. He is out there. People know he's a good player," Llambias is quoted in the Daily Mail.
"He's proven in the Premier League, he's not picking up as many yellow cards, he's learning. How are we going to stop a big club from coming in for him? It'll be very hard."
"How are we going to stop a big club from coming in for him? It'll be very hard. One thing in our favour is that we now have a very good side and that might encourage the player to stay.
"But if someone knocks on the door and says they want this or that money, the reality may be that we have to trade."
Meanwhile, versatile Newcastle United midfielder Ryan Taylor has put pen to paper on a new contract that will keep him at St. James' Park until 2015.
The 27-year-old, who has scored twice in 25 appearances this season, can play in either defence or midfield.
"I'm over the moon. It's been a quiet one to get done and didn't take long. I stated not so long ago that I would love to stay here," Taylor is quoted on BBC Sport.