Rafa Benitez has lost two players at Newcastle United – but he hopes the squad has gained focus.
Injury-hit pair Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux have left St James’s Park “by mutual consent” after the relegation-threatened club paid up their contracts.
Benitez had told Obertan and Marveaux that they weren’t in his plans for the final two games of the season.
United’s manager – who moved the club’s Under-21 squad out of the first-team complex after arriving on Tyneside – only wants players around the club’s training ground that are 100 per cent focused on the task in hand.
And Benitez felt Obertan and Marveaux – whose contracts were up at the end of the season – couldn’t help him or his team.
A club statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux have left by mutual consent.
“The contracts of the French pair were due to expire this summer, but with them almost certainly not going to feature in the Magpies’ remaining games, a settlement was agreed earlier this week, allowing them to find new clubs.
“Obertan, 27, joined Newcastle from Manchester United in August 2011.
“The winger made 77 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals, but has not featured for the first team since last September.
“Marveaux, 30, arrived on Tyneside in the summer of 2011, from Rennes. However, he has spent large periods of his time at the club sidelined by injury, and made just 57 appearances in nearly five years, scoring twice. The midfielder last played for United in March 2014.
“Everyone at Newcastle United wishes Gabriel and Sylvain the very best for the future.”