The Toon legend insists a failure to fill the void left by the France midfielder’s £20m switch to Paris Saint-Germain will leave those left behind questioning their future - and the ambition of the club.

Joe Kinnear paid the price for collapsed last-gasp January moves for Lyon’s Clement Grenier and Montpellier star Remy Cabella when the director of football quit this week.

Shearer reckons Newcastle have messed-up by not having a cast-iron plan in place last month to replace Cabaye - and their inaction sends out the wrong message to fans as well as Alan Pardew’s squad.

The 43-year-old former Newcastle and England skipper said: “Joe Kinnear was quoted as saying that no-one would be leaving in January.

“But if you’re going to let your best player go, you have to have a plan for someone to come in. You can’t let Cabaye leave and then bring no-one else in. That just can’t happen.

“It sends a bad message out to the fans and, if you’re a player in that dressing room, you must be thinking, ‘where are we going?’”

Newcastle’s season is in danger of fizzling out after suffering defeat in five of their last seven games and with tough matches against Chelsea and Tottenham on the horizon.