Newcastle release Anita, confirm Thauvin's Marseille move

Vurnon Anita has been released by Newcastle United at the end of his contract, the midfielder leaving the Premier League new boys after five seasons at the club.

Newcastle's retained list ahead of the 2017-18 campaign also confirmed Florian Thauvin's move to Marseille has been finalised, the French winger having spent last season on loan at the Ligue 1 side.

As well as Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Lubo Satka and Haris Vuckic will also be leaving St James' Park, but talks are ongoing with Yoan Gouffran's agent over a new deal for the forward.

Anita started 24 league games as Newcastle returned to the Premier League by winning the Championship title and manager Rafael Benitez paid tribute to the 28-year-old.

"I wish to give sincere thanks to all those players from the first team and at under-23 level who we have made the difficult decision to release this summer," the Spaniard said.

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"In particular to Vurnon Anita, who has served Newcastle United magnificently over the last five years.

"Vurnon is an outstanding team player, always working for the team and willing to step into whatever position he was needed to fill. He is an excellent professional and I thank him for every contribution he has made over the years, particularly in my time as manager.

"Yoan Gouffran has been an equally committed and dedicated team-player for this club, as well as a hugely popular member of the squad.

"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."

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