Joe Kinnear has insisted Newcastle only sold Yohan Cabaye to Paris St-Germain because he was desperate to leave.
The Magpies' director of football has once again become the target of fans' fury after the club sold Cabaye, arguably manager Alan Pardew's best player, to the big-spending Ligue 1 outfit earlier this week and failed to replace him before Friday night's transfer deadline.
But writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday's derby clash with Sunderland, Kinnear said: "Of course it is disappointing that Yohan Cabaye has moved on after two and a half seasons at St James' Park.
"We didn't want to sell him, make no bones about that, but Yohan made it very clear to us that the opportunity of playing Champions League football and being part of the sporting project at PSG was something he wanted.
"On that basis, we felt that if we received an acceptable bid for him, then it was the right decision for the club to do business.
"Yohan benefited hugely from his time with us. He flourished as a player and his move to PSG comes as a result of the performances he put in during his time at the club.
"But for us, now is the time to look forward, not back. We have a number of highly talented midfielders within our ranks."
Kinnear was appointed to his post in June last year and is yet to make a permanent signing, with on-loan strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong the only two men to arrive at the club since.