Newcastle United have doubts about revisiting a move for Boubakary Soumare in the summer after the Lille youngster turned down the Magpies last month.
The black-and-whites started planning for the mid-season window in September and identified Soumare, a dynamic midfielder who impressed in the Champions League group stages, as their number one target.
Newcastle received positive noises from Soumare's camp so were more concerned about whether Lille would welcome their bid, an initial £35m with add-ons, because the Ligue 1 side would not have much time to sign a replacement.
Lille, however, accepted Newcastle's big-money offer and a plane was booked for Bruce and club officials to go and meet Soumare. Ultimately, the jet did not take off after the 20-year-old decided to keep his options open ahead of the summer.
ChronicleLive understands that while club insiders respected Soumare's decision, given how the player had been linked with a move to Europe's elite clubs, Newcastle have doubts about revisiting the deal in the summer after the Frenchman turned them down.
Soumare has not played since January 26 and Lille manager Christophe Galtier admitted 'there can be tension between a player and his club' but they would 'settle this internally'.
That appears to have happened and, in an interview with the club's website, Soumare has declared he is 'truly very happy' to be at the Stade Pierre Mauroy ahead of Saturday's game against Toulouse.
“We needed to speak with the club to sort out a situation concerning the management and development of my career," he said.
"Now, it is sorted. We need to look forward and think about what’s going to happen until the end of our season.
"We need to take three points on Saturday against Toulouse to achieve our ambition of being on the podium [to qualify for the Champions League]. At the moment, that is all that interests me."