Newcastle United are yet to find any takers for expensive back-up striker Yoshinori Muto.
It means that the £9.6million signing from summer 2018 has left the Magpies with another big decision with Steve Bruce believing the striker wasn't good enough for a squad place last season.
Bruce inherited a squad that not only contained Muto but also big earners such as Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar and Christian Atsu but around £6million a season has been cleared off the wage bill this summer.
Life started well for Muto under Bruce when the Japan international netted the winner in his first game in charge at the Hongkou Stadium in a 1-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Muto, who picks up £54,000 per week, could not command a regular first-team slot under Rafa Benitez after arriving from Mainz 05 three years ago and while Bruce did offer the Tokyo-born player a chance in 2019/20, he could not guarantee him a squad number last summer.
Bruce said then: "He hasn't really played a lot and with the additions we have brought in this year (Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser), we think it's best for him to go and play somewhere where he's going to enjoy his football."
The Japan international could arguably nudge up a place to fourth-choice striker if Andy Carroll does not take up the offer of a one-year deal.
But any hopes of recouping a fee and striking Muto off the wage bill were dealt a blow when Spanish club Eibar - who loaned him last term - were relegated from La Liga.
Muto was happy with life at Eibar but their drop into the Segunda Division makes the deal highly unlikely now.
The striker's representatives are looking for viable options for Muto but he has been told to report back to Benton on July 5 for pre-season training and could even appear again in a black and white shirt in one of Newcastle's opening friendlies against York City or Harrogate next month.
Muto has managed just seven Premier League starts since becoming a Toon player and has scored twice for the club, away to Manchester United in a 3-2 defeat and in the League Cup against Leicester City in 2019.
The forward's current deal is set to expire in June 2022 when the player could walk away for free and cap off what has been an expensive and frustrating transfer deal for the Magpies.