Eddie Howe names two Newcastle United players who can leave – and three he wants to keep

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has named three players he wants to keep at the club.

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Eddie Howe hopes to keep three long-serving Newcastle United players at St James' Park – but two more can leave the club.

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And United's head coach, speaking ahead of Sunday's final game of the season against Chelsea, revealed that he wants to keep Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie, both out of contract at the end of the campaign, at St James' Park

“I’ve held various discussions with Matt throughout the season, and, I think, first and foremost, he’s been very committed to Newcastle, and to the team and aims this season," said Howe.

"I have said I desperately want to keep him next year. He's had issues surrounding his family, and the distance between him and them.

"It’s never easy when you have young children, and that distance when you’re a parent is tough at times. But Matt's been exceptional, and I certainly hope he stays for next season."

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Matt Ritchie.Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Matt Ritchie.
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Matt Ritchie.
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Ritchie, 33, signed from Bournemouth in 2016 by then-manager Rafa Benitez, has been sidelined in recent weeks with a knee problem.

Dummett, 31, has made 225 appearance for Newcastle since making his debut just over 10 years ago.

"Again, I hope we can come to an agreement with Paul and he will stay for next year," said Howe. "I think he's a vital part behind the scenes of our success this year.

"He’s trained superbly, and his commitment to Newcastle is undoubted. We’d love him to extend his stay.”

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Howe also wants to keep 34-year-old Martin Dubravka, who was the club's first-choice goalkeeper before the arrival of Nick Pope from Burnley last summer.

"I very much hope his future's here – I rate Martin very highly, always have done," said Howe.

Dubravka is set to play against Chelsea after Nick Pope had surgery on his fingers this week.

Meanwhile, Howe also revealed that returning loan players Isaac Hayden and Jeff Hendrick are not in his plans for next season.

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Hayden and Hendrick have spent this season at Norwich City and Reading respectively.

"They've been great servants for the club, but sometimes you have to make a clear break, really, and focus on the players that are going to be part of our season next year," said Howe.