It looks as though Newcastle will have a bigger clear-out this summer than we realized.
Leon Best injured his knee against Aston Villa
Lee Ryder is reporting in the Evening Chronicle today, that squad reshaping will begin next week, with a rigorous review of the current first-team roster.
And with the standards having been raised significantly this season, we could see a number of the fringe first team players leave in the summer.
The reports are that Newcastle are now ready to sell both Leon Best and Nile Ranger, and Danny Guthrie may not be retained, and apparently he will learn his future in a couple of weeks.
Danny’s current deal runs out at the end of June, and Leon Best has one year left on his contract, and Newcastle will listen to offers for him in the summer.
Leon did not make the Ireland squad of 23, named by Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday for the Euro 2012 Championships, and the strikers were Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Simon Cox and Jon Walters.
Here is the full Ireland squad for Euro 2012:
Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde (Millwall);
John O’Shea (Sunderland), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Darren O’Dea (Leeds), Kevin Foley (Wolves);
Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Keith Fahey (Birmingham), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), James McClean (Sunderland);
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long, Simon Cox (both West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke).
And it’s hardly surprising that Nile Ranger will be moved out, if Newcastle can get a suitable buyer, as he’s had many many chances to shape up at Newcastle, and he hasn’t.
However a potential barrier to him moving on is he’s still on a good deal at Newcastle, which still has four years to run.
The T-shirt he revealed after Sheffield Wednesday were promoted over the weekend said I’m a Changed Man – which was an obvious communication to Newcastle – but it’s probably too late for him at Newcastle
And news that Newcastle will not be signing 19-year-old Melbourne Heart player Curtis Good, and he has returned to Australia.
So it seems that as well as the five players we mentioned yesterday as leaving the club – Alan Smith, Xisco, Peter Lovenkrands, who was in tears on his lap of honor on Sunday, Fraser Forster and Tamas Kadar, it also appears that Nile Ranger, Leon Best and Danny Guthrie could be on their way.
Of those three, we’d like to see Danny Guthrie stay and of course there’s still a big question mark over Danny Simpson, who will also be moved out if he doesn’t sign a new deal in the early summer.
Guthrie wants first team football, and with Newcastle likely to bring in at least two central midfielders in the summer, he may not get many games next season.
But we do have the extra games with European competition, and we suppose that would be up to Danny to see if he wants to stay and fight for his first team place.