Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is confident striker Demba Ba's proposed move to Chelsea will go through, allowing the Magpies to "move on".
The Blues have been given permission to talk to the 27-year-old Senegal international after meeting the £7million release clause stipulated in the deal he signed with Newcastle during the summer of 2011. Ba was withdrawn from the Newcastle squad for the Barclays Premier League clash with Everton at St James' Park as a result.
And speaking before kick-off, Pardew was confident a deal was just a matter of time. "It's done. He will go to Chelsea with our blessing," Pardew told Sky Sports 1. "He has done fantastic for us and it's not a bad thing, all the uncertainty is now done and we can move on. This club is bigger than any player for sure."
Pardew admitted the timing of the news was not ideal, but added: "The ball was always in Demba's court."
A club statement had earlier read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Chelsea Football Club has made an official offer for Demba Ba which has triggered the release clause in the player's contract.
"The club has given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight's game against Everton."
The move comes as little surprise after the Londoners held talks with the player's representatives at the weekend. Those discussions were later described as "unproductive", but there was a feeling that it would not be the end of the matter.
Newcastle have tried unsuccessfully to renegotiate Ba's contract in recent months to prevent a repeat of the speculation which surrounded him during the summer.
However, with the former Hoffenheim and West Ham forward's representatives actively trying to move him on - Pardew hit out earlier this week at the network of people purporting to be looking after the player - their hopes of securing him on a firmer footing always looked doomed.
Ba has been a major hit on Tyneside - he scored 16 goals last season and took his tally for the current campaign to 13 with a double in the 7-3 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday - and Pardew was desperate to keep him. However, Newcastle were not prepared to shatter their wage structure to accommodate his demands.