Alan Shearer cannot believe Loic Remy chose QPR over Newcastle for purely football reasons.
It seemed a given that Magpies boss Alan Pardew would sign up the France striker from Marseille to replace departed top scorer Demba Ba, but Harry Redknapp scooped the deal to take Remy into a relegation scrap at Loftus Road.
Newcastle are in trouble near the foot of the table too, and former England captain Shearer - the north-east club's all-time record scorer - is convinced money must have been the key factor.
"I am surprised to see Remy go to QPR instead of Newcastle," said Shearer, who was speaking at the launch of the FA's 150th birthday celebrations.
"I would have a good guess that financial things had a part to play.
"Harry (Redknapp) will tell you a different story but, whilst I love Harry and I hope QPR get out of it, I find it hard to say he chose them over Newcastle."
Remy's decision has undoubtedly left Newcastle with a problem, initially created by Ba's demand to join Chelsea. The Senegal man is still Newcastle's leading scorer with 13 goals.
"It is a tough one for him," Shearer said.
"He will believe he has a better chance of winning things there and at the moment he probably has.
"Having said that, he gave his all in a Newcastle shirt, played well and scored goals, so I don't think anybody can complain.
"But it is disappointing to see our top scorer leave. Hopefully, they will have a plan B and a plan C because it's left Newcastle with a huge gap that they obviously need to fill."
Remy's snub leaves Pardew short of forward options ahead of key games against Reading and Aston Villa.
After just two wins in their last 13 Premier League games, Pardew knows if his players collect six points they can look forward to the remainder of the campaign with renewed optimism.
"The next two games are vital," Shearer said.
"At this moment in time, I still believe they are too good to go down.
"But that has got to be proved between now and the end of the season and we desperately need a win, otherwise then the pressure will really crank up."