Yoan Gouffran could yet STAY at Newcastle United.
The forward made his first appearance since March in Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Reading at St James’s Park.
He’s under contract, so nothing has changed. He’s a player that I like. He’s a very good professional. Still we have to wait, but I’m very pleased with him.Rafa Benitez
United manager Rafa Benitez fielded Gouffran on the wing.
And the 30-year-old – who is in the last year of his contract and available for transfer – had a hand in two of Newcastle’s goals.
Gouffran was warmly applauded off the pitch by fans for his contribution to the club’s first Championship win, and Benitez praised Gouffran’s “professionalism” after the game.
“I said after the game that he was doing well every day in training,” said Benitez.
“He was doing well for me and doing his job. He’s a player that’s available and training well.
“He’s under contract, so nothing has changed. He’s a player that I like.
“He’s a very good professional. Still we have to wait, but I’m very pleased with him.
“I was watching him as a striker and then he had to play as a winger and a midfielder. He was not very happy because he was not playing very well.
“The perception outside was that maybe he was not as good as he could be.”
Gouffran – who has scored 12 goals for the club since joining in January 2013 – feels his best position is up front.
Benitez added: “We know it’s not ideal for him, because he’s a striker, but he works very hard so he can play as a winger. He can help.”
Gouffran refused to talk to journalists after the Reading game.