Only two Newcastle United players nearing their contract expiry dates are to be handed new deals as the Magpies undergo a massive cull at reserve level, according to a reliable journalist.

The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, who is a reputable source of information surrounding the Magpies, has claimed on his personal Twitter account that of the under-23 players whose contracts were set to expire this summer, just Callum Roberts and Luke Charman will be given the chance to put pen to paper over extending their stay.

Ryder says that “a host” of reserve players are set for the exit door, which could include attackers Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Tom Heardman, who are both out of contract in the summer.

The under-23 side progressed to the semi-finals of the Premier League international cup on Wednesday, beating fierce rivals and last season’s finalists Sunderland in a penalty shoot out to set up a meeting with Porto.

Football Insider verdict

Newcastle have always struggled to bring young players through their youth system and into the senior side, with Paul Dummett the last man to break through as a Tyneside talent. It looks as though this year will be no different, but the fresh start could be beneficial to the Magpies. Rafael Benitez is well known to have wanted to improve on the youth development at the club since his arrival and although this batch of players might not be good enough, with his teachings and guidance, the next lot could hold a gem in their ranks. Only time will tell, but for now, it is another season of disappointment.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have opened talks to snap up a Champions League midfielder.

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