By Will Butcher

Newcastle stalwart Haris Vuckic has been told by Rafa Benitez that he isn’t a part of the manager’s plans ahead of the new season.

Vuckic now entering his eight season as a Newcastle player, spent last season on-loan at Wigan, where he scored twice in 17 appearances.

The 23-year-old told the Evening Chronicle that he wants to stay at St. James’ Park and fight for a chance to prove his worth with only 12 months remaining on his contract.

“Yes – at the moment I’m not in his plans,” Vuckic said. “But hopefully with my games I can show him that I can at least deserve a chance and that he can try me in different positions. Hopefully he will do that.”

The Slovenian international was signed by Newcastle when he was just 16 from Slovenian side Domzale and was regarded as one of the brightest talents in Europe, after having a trial at AC Milan.

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However, it hasn’t turned out as well as hoped for Newcastle’s number 23, who has made just seven League appearances in as many years for The Magpies.

Vuckic has subsequently been loaned out by Newcastle on a regular basis, with the attacking midfielder turning out for Cardiff, Rotherham, and Rangers.

Vuckic rediscovered his magic touch in Scotland, scoring eight league goals in 15 games but it wasn’t enough to impress those on Tyneside.

The versatile man Magpie can play in either the number 10 role, out wide or even as a centre-forward.

In other Newcastle news, Benitez is keen to sell this French flop but is playing hardball over the transfer fee.