Islam Slimani apologises for 'mistake' which ended his Newcastle career

Islam Slimani apologised to Rafa Benitez and his team-mates after being banned for three games.

Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani

The striker, signed on loan from Leicester City in January, has left Newcastle United.

Benitez yesterday told Slimani – who was punished retrospectively for kicking out at West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson – that he was "free to go".

The 29-year-old played just 131 minutes of football for Newcastle, having arrived with a thigh problem.

Asked if Slimani apologised for the incident, United manager Benitez said: "Yes. He was not very happy, obviously. He knows that he made a mistake."

Newcastle take on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley tonight ahead of Sunday's final game of the season against Chelsea at St James's Park.

“I said he can go, because he will not be part of the team in these two games," said Benitez.

“We told him and we told them that he can go if he wants, and he has."

Asked if he would consider a summer move for Slimani, Benitez said: "The main thing for him was he came with an injury and he didn’t have time to perform or be fit soon enough.

"Then, when we won, it was more difficult for him to go in the team because we were winning. But it's something we have to analyse later on."