Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits he is powerless to keep Demba Ba at St James' Park.
The 27-year-old has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if another club makes a significant bid, believed to be in the region of £7million, for his services.
In an interview with French broadcaster Canal+, the Senegal striker made comments that were construed as an admission that Arsenal, one of the clubs linked with a move for him, represented an attractive proposition.
He was also quoted as being critical of Pardew's tactics and while the Magpies boss insists his remarks in both instances were misinterpreted, he admits Ba's future is beyond his control.
The manager said: "It's unfortunate that the contract he has leaves open a lot of questions because we have this clause and every window that comes around, I have to answer the same questions.
"It would be disappointing for him to leave in this window for this club and for his team-mates here, but the decision will be his, ultimately, because that clause is there.
"The most important things we have got with Demba is he is someone who is a goalscorer and he is scoring goals, and that's very, very important to a side. His commitment to and work-rate for the team, I don't fault."
Pardew also confirmed that Ba will not be disciplined over the interview he gave to Canal+, although the club were unhappy that he has not informed them of it.
He said: "I have had to because it was quoted in England not correctly, and that's unfair on Demba and unfair on us.
"There will be no disciplinary procedure against him. There was one procedural matter where he could have informed us and should have, really, but that's neither here nor there.
"The most important thing for me is that the content of that conversation was about trying to turn the situation around, like all of us.
"We are professional people, we want to win. That's what we are paid for and I have got no problem with anything he said in that interview."
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