Vurnon Anita axed by Newcastle but Yoan Gouffran in talks to extend United stay
Yoan Gouffran could still have a future at Newcastle, after Rafa Benitez revealed he is in talks to sign a new Magpies deal.
But it is the end of the road for Vurnon Anita, who has today been released, by United, as they published their retained list for the 2017/18 season.
United confirmed that Anita, along with Sammy Ameobi, Lubo Satka and Haris Vuckic will all leave St. James' Park when their contracts expire this summer.
Academy products Jamie Holmes, Stefan Broccoli, Ben Smith, Gideon Adu-Peprah and Daniel Lowther have also been shown the door, while Florian Thauvin has officially completed his permanent move to Marseille.
After an impressive season in the Championship Gouffran is a player who could remain on Tyneside, with manager Rafa Benitez confirming negotiations have begun with player's agent to prolong the former Bordeaux man's stay.
"I can confirm we are in early stage discussions now with Yoan’s agent to see if there might be a solution that could work for both the player and the club which may see Yoan extend his service to Newcastle United, but we will know more in the coming days," said Benitez.
For Netherlands international Anita his five years at SJP are over, though.
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And Benitez was full of praise for the former Ajax man, who was outstanding for the Spaniard last season, mostly out of position as a full-back.
Benítez said: "I wish to give sincere thanks to all those players from the first team and at under-23 level who we have made the difficult decision to release this summer.
"In particular to Vurnon Anita, who has served Newcastle United magnificently over the last five years. Vurnon is an outstanding team-player, always working for the team and willing to step into whatever position he was needed to fill. He is an excellent professional and I thank him for every contribution he has made over the years, particularly in my time as manager.
"Yoan has been an equally committed and dedicated team-player for this club, as well as a hugely popular member of the squad.
"Thanks also to Sammy Ameobi, who came back in January and made a contribution to the second half of the season. He was always so positive and did everything he could to help the team achieve success.
"To all those players released by the club today, we wish to thank you for your loyalty and commitment and wish you the very best for your future in football. I say to them all, keep working hard and you will find the success that you seek and deserve."
New professional contracts have been offered to youth team midfielders Sean Longstaff, Dan Ward and Jack Hunter while goalkeeper Paul Woolston, defender Michael Newberry and forwards Tom Heardman and Luke Charman are also set to be retained.
Yannick Aziakonou, Owen Bailey, Owen Gallacher, Nathan Harker, Mackenzie Heaney, Ben Kitchen, Oliver Long, Lewis McNall, Callum Smith, Craig Spooner have also been offered new deals.
Two-year scholarships have been handed to Max Allen, Ryan Barrett, Thomas Cole, Sam Joyce, Deese Kasinga Madia and Jack Young, who all join the academy this summer.