Newcastle United “do not need to sell” midfielder Moussa Sissoko and will only agree to a deal if it suits all parties, says manager Rafael Benitez.
Sissoko, 26, told BBC World Football this week he wanted to move to a “big club” with Champions League prospects.
The France international has three years remaining on his current deal.
“If someone thinks if they will wait until 31 August it will be easier, I can guarantee them it will be more difficult,” Benitez told BBC Newcastle.
“If someone wants to come, they have to come now with the right offer and we will analyse that. If not, he is still our player and he carries on working hard.
“Everyday will be more difficult because we are happy with him and we don’t have to sell.”
Benitez says he would like retain the former Toulouse midfielder as Newcastle try to win promotion back to the Premier League at their first attempt.
The Spaniard is sympathetic to Sissoko’s desire to play at a higher level, but not the public overtures for a move.
“I told Moussa we know how things work in modern football and that is not the right way,” the ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss added.
“I said, ‘You are a professional, you are our player, I rate you very highly and I like you as a person’. ‘Keep working hard and let other people do their business’.”