Newcastle set to axe 28-year-old during Benitez reshuffle - report
By Derek Smithson
Newcastle are set to allow first teamer Vurnon Anita to leave the club in the summer when his contract expires, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim that the 28-year-old is not expected to be on the club’s retained list as his existing deal expires, despite the Magpies originally pondering offering a short-term deal.
It is understood that manager Rafael Benitez wants to bolster his squad ahead of a return to the Premier League and wants to “inject fresh blood” to the side.
The report details that senior player Yoan Gouffran is another player that is expected to depart when their contract expires in the summer.
Benitez looks set for another reshuffle of his squad in the upcoming window as Newcastle prepare for a top flight return.
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The Spaniard transformed his squad last summer with major signings such as Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie, who helped them obtain promotion as title winners in the Championship.
He now looks set for another busy window and Anita’s time at St James’ Park could be drawing to a close.
The defender played an important role last season in the Magpies squad and made 31 appearances across all competitions, mainly being used as a right-back.
Anita can also be used as a midfielder and has racked up 155 appearances for Newcastle since he joined in 2012.
Football Insider verdict:
Benitez looks set to make some bold decisions in the summer as he moulds his squad for the Premier League and letting Anita leave on a free could well cost him. The 28-year-old was an important member of the squad last year and Benitez should tread carefully when dismantling the squad. They will need major improvement if they are to compete in the top flight, but it’s important to keep the core of side that got you there. Anita is a steady player and certainly showed enough in the last campaign to prove he should stay at the club. His versatility also makes him a very useful squad player as he can fill in at either defence of midfield.
In other Newcastle transfer news, European giants AC Milan are preparing a move for Florian Thauvin.