By Matt Farr
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is looking to extend the futures of Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran this summer but on one condition, according to a report.
The Chronicle understand that Benitez wants to offer the pair new deals with the club beyond the current season, but only if they are prepared to take a pay cut.
The Newcastle duo are out of contract at the end of the season, and with talks having yet to kickstart, were expected to quit the club.
But Benitez’s contract plan offers hope that the two first team players will remain part of the Newcastle squad for next season, where they might be challenging in the Premier League.
Benitez is expected to make wholesale changes to his squad this summer if they win promotion, but he might look to keep two of his senior men on the books to add valuable squad depth and Premier League experience.
Both Gouffran and Anita have been ever-present under Benitez in the Championship this season, making 55 league appearances between them.
The duo have also been long time servants in Tyneside, with Gouffran, 30, joining the club from Bordeaux in January 2013.
Anita, meanwhile, arrived at St. James’ Park in August 2012.
But it also remains highly possible that the pair will depart in several months time, with Gouffran attracting interest from France, and several Holland-based sides believed to coveting Anita.
In other Newcastle transfer news, it is understood that extensive background checks have already begun in the Magpies’ pursuit of this Premier League goalscorer.