By Russell Edge

11th Jan, 2018 | 4:31pm

Report: Benitez green lights Newcastle man's permanent exit as top flight side eye swoop

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is willing to let left back Massadio Haidara leave the club permanently in January as FC Utrecht eye up a swoop, according to a report.
Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD) claim on their website that the Dutch top flight side are keen on bolstering their defence and have lined up the 25-year-old Frenchman as a top target.
It is said that Newcastle are open to seeing the former AS Nancy defender depart St James’ Park this month, having failed to feature a single time for the first team this season, with just three unused substitute appearances under his belt.
Haidara has made a total of 52 appearances for the club since his arrival, and has a contract which is set to expire this coming summer.
Football Insider verdict
Haidara’s exit seems a certainty considering his contract situation, and it will just be who is willing to take a risk on a player who has had injury issues throughout his time on Tyneside. He has not lived up to expectation so there will be no tears shed about his sale, which will help clear up some of the wage budget for future signings, as well as a potentially minor transfer fee secured for his services. Left back is obviously an issue for Rafa Benitez though, with Paul Dummett the only other natural option for the role, and so the Spanish boss will likely target a replacement for Haidara once he is offloaded from the club.
In other Newcastle United news, Paul Merson has delivered his prediction for the clash against Swansea.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle United breaking news.