Moussa Sissoko believes he struggles to find a place in the France XI because his international team-mates play for “big clubs” – including former Newcastle United colleague Yohan Cabaye, who now plays for Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
Sissoko made only his 16th start in 30 France appearances last Friday as Didier Deschamps’ men claimed a 1-0 win over Portugal.
The former Toulouse man, who has been at St James’ Park since January 2013, has to compete with the likes of Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain’s Blaise Matuidi in the France engine room.
And he feels that duo, as well as Cabaye – who left PSG to link up with former Newcastle boss Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park in the transfer window – have an advantage because of where they play.
“Look at those who play in my position,” Sissoko told France Football.
“There’s Blaise [Matuidi] who did extraordinary things at PSG [last season], Paul [Pogba] who is wonderful for Juventus, Yohan Cabaye who has just signed for Crystal Palace and Morgan Schneiderlin who is now at Manchester United.
“Compared to me, they all play in big clubs.”
Sissoko also confirmed he was the subject of interest from a number of clubs during the window, which closed last Tuesday.
“There were clubs – but Newcastle vetoed,” he added. “There have been discussions with the club, who said they were against my departure, so I stayed.”
Asked what he is worth in the transfer market, Sissoko joked: “If I was club president [at Newcastle], why not €100million.
“We see a lot about [those sorts of fees] in the transfer market at the moment.”