Newcastle United's attempts to sign a replacement for Demba Ba have taken a blow once again after St Etienne confirmed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will remain at the club beyond the January transfer window.
The Gabon international is among the list of potential replacements for Ba, who joined Chelsea last week, as Alan Pardew looks to make a significant addition to the club's attack in an attempt to drag the club from a relegation dogfight.
However, Newcastle have hit another snag in their hopes to sign a new forward in January, with the news that Aubameyang, who has scored nine goals this season, won't be available for transfer until the summer.
"There is a lot of talk about many strikers and Newcastle, but Aubameyang will finish the season with us," St Etienne vice-president Dominique Rocheteau told RMC. "In football nothing is 100% certain, but we plan on keeping him."
On Wednesday, Marseille coach Eli Baup said striker Loic Remy, who has made just two domestic starts for the Ligue 1 co-leaders, could stay beyond the winter window also, scuppering any move from Newcastle.
"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. As this is the third transfer window where we are talking about his departure, he does not focus on it.
"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."
The French international's former agent, Frederic Guerra has since criticised Newcastle's attempts to sign Remy, criticising the club for operating above their station.
"This is an exotic club par excellence. Over there they'll take the money and nothing more. It's been years since Newcastle have won anything!" Guerra told French radio station RMC.
Remaining strikers Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi and Nile Ranger have between them scored nine goals this season and Pardew is adamant the club must add to their attacking resources if they're to escape relegation to The Championship.