Report: Newcastle United open formal negotiations over Moussa Sissoko's transfer

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Newcastle United open talks with Real Madrid over the sale of Moussa Sissoko.

France's Moussa Sissoko and referee Mark Clattenburg

According to reports from Diario Madridista, Championship side Newcastle United have given up on their hopes of keeping Moussa Sissoko and have opened formal negotiations with Real Madrid.

Following Newcastle United’s relegation into the Championship Sissoko had made no secret of his desire to leave St. James’ Park during the summer, and a brilliant performance during the 2016 European Championships has meant that the Frenchman is attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs across Europe.

France's Moussa Sissoko during training.

The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus, Roma, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid have all been credited with an interest in Sissoko but despite the widespread attention, the 26-year-old still remains a Newcastle player – probably due to the Magpies’ huge £35 million asking price.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez had hinted (The Chronicle) last month that he would like to keep hold of Sissoko but now according to reports from Diario Madridista, the Magpies have finally given up on their hopes of convincing the French international to stay.

Portugal's Adrien Silva in action with France's Moussa Sissoko

The report adds that Newcastle have also begun formal negotiations with Spanish giants Real Madrid over the prospective sale of Sissoko and the two parties are currently holding talks regarding a fee for the former Toulouse man.

Newcastle's Rob Elliot (R) and Moussa Sissoko before the game

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch