By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that early discussions have begun with the agent of wide forward Yoan Gouffran about extending his contract at the club.
The 31-year-old left-winger is currently set to be out of contract at the end of the month with his deal expiring on June 30.
The Frenchman became a pivotal part of Benitez’ title winning side in the last campaign, playing 39 times in the Championshiop, scoring five goals while providing four himself.
Now, the Spanish boss has told the club’s official website on Friday that talks have begun with Gouffran’s representative.
“Yoan Gouffran has been an equally committed and dedicated team-player for this club, as well as a hugely popular member of the squad,” told Benitez to the club website.
“I can confirm we are in early stage discussions now with Yoan’s agent to see if there might be a solution that could work for both the player and the club which may see Yoan extend his service to Newcastle United, but we will know more in the coming days.”
Gouffran joined Newcastle in a £500,00 deal from French club Bordeaux in January 2013.
He has since gone on to play 141 times for the north east giants in his four years at St. James’ Park, returning 19 goals and providing 13 himself.
While his future still remains in the balance the club did announce that senior quartet Vurnon Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Lubo Satka and Haris Vuckic would all be leaving a the end of their contracts.
Benitez will currently be looking to build a team who feels is good enough to help Newcastle achieve safety in the Premier League next season.
In other Newcastle news, an approach has been made for this Toon enforcer.