Alan Pardew has admitted Papiss Cisse needs to have a big second half of the season or risk being offloaded by Newcastle in the summer.
The Senegal international was a revelation after joining the Magpies in January 2012, scoring 13 goals in his first 14 appearances.
But Cisse has scored one one Premier League goal this season and has slipped behind fellow striker Loic Remy in the pecking order.
The 28-year-old has been out of action since aggravating a back injury during a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi last month.
Pardew revealed that Cisse is closing in on a return to full fitness, but he has much to prove over the next three months.
Pardew said: "He needs to have a big second half of the season for the summer.
"We are going to have to make a decision with Papiss: whether he is going to stay at this club and be a big player for us like he was two years ago and last year to a degree, or whether it's going to be pastures new."
Newcastle take on Tottenham on Wednesday night in the first game at St James' Park since Pardew was targeted by angry Magpies fans following the 3-0 defeat to arch-rivals Sunderland on February 3.
"I try to be consistent through the ups and downs of the emotion that is in this city at times. Some of it is over the top, there's no doubt about that," Pardew added.
"For me, it's very difficult to sometimes isolate myself and concentrate on what's important.
"But usually, nine times out of 10, it's the next game and I'm pretty good at focusing my mind. I have got pretty narrow vision when it comes to the job at hand."