Newcastle United briefing: Islam Slimani banned, Pep Guardiola reveals Newcastle letter

Islam Slimani's Newcastle United career is over '“ with three games left to play.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 12:26 pm
Islam Slimani

The striker was today banned for the club's remaining fixtures after accepting a charge of violent conduct.

Slimani, on loan from Leicester City, kicked out at West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson in last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to the Premier League's basement club.

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The suspension prematurely ends a forgettable and injury-hit few months at St James's Park for the 29-year-old, who made one start and three substitute's appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, manager Rafa Benitez is preparing his players for Saturday's game against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Here's your daily briefing:

Wrote for luck

Imagine if Sir Bobby Robson had signed Pep Guardiola. It could have happened.

Mancehster City's manager made the revelation in an interview for the film "Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager", which is being screened at St James's Park on May 22.

Guardiola played under Robson at Barcelona. And the midfielder wrote to Sir Bobby after he took charge of Newcastle in 1999.

“I am going to explain something secret," said Guardiola, who went on to manage Barcelona and Bayern Munich before coming to England.

"After the purge in Barcelona, he (Sir Bobby) went to Newcastle, and I sent him a letter to offer me the chance to go to him and play at Newcastle.

“One of my dreams would have been to have played in England. He answered me and said it was not possible because he had a lot of ­quality, and he was right, but even in that tough moment, he was always so kind.

“He wrote a simple letter and it was like it meant so much more. Bobby is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life."

Key issues

Newcastle yesterday published the minutes from last week's Fans Forum meeting.

There were questions about Benitez's future, transfer funds and expanding St James's Park.

Big deal

United defender DeAndre Yedlin has had his say on the future of Benitez, whose contract runs out next year.

Representatives of Newcastle's manager have held preliminary talks over a new deal.

"Those discussions between the manager and the club are going to be massive," said defender Yedlin, who is preparing for Saturday's game against Watford at Vicarage Road.

"He's a great manager. He's loved by the city and loved by the club. He's a manager I think we need to keep.

Cup of joy

United's Under-23s won the Northumberland Senior Cup last night.

Ben Dawson's side beat Morpeth Town 3-1 thanks to two goals from Callum Roberts and a strike from Dan Barlaser.

Report and reaction from St James's Park here.