Newcastle United could lose Yohan Cabaye for less than £6 million if the France international tries to exploit a clause that enables him to buy himself out of the final two years of his contract.

Cabaye, who went on strike at the start of the season in an attempt to force Newcastle to accept a £10.1 million offer from Arsenal, is looking into the possibility of extracting himself from a contract that runs until June 2016 under the so-called “Webster Rule”. Under Article 17 of Fifa’s transfer rules, a player can cancel a contract “without just cause” and pay his employer the remaining value of his deal, allowing them to join another club on a free transfer.

Cabaye earns around £60,000 a week at St James’ Park, which in theory would allow him to become a free agent if he pays Newcastle United roughly £5.76 million in June. Interested clubs may even offer to compensate the 27-year-old for that loss of income if they are able to sign him as a free agent.

Some clubs insert additional clauses into their contracts to guard against players leaving like this, but Newcastle have refused to comment when asked whether Cabaye is able to take advantage of the Webster Rule.