Newcastle United boss Rafael Benítez has told three senior players they can leave the club as he prepares to shape his squad for next season.
French midfielder Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar and long-serving goalkeeper Tim Krul have all been told their futures lie elsewhere.
Benítez stated at the start of pre-season that he would be honest with each player - well aware that his squad would needed to be cut before the end of the summer window.
All three players returned to the club’s Benton training base on July 3 and trained with the first team. Saivet even turned out for the Magpies in their 2-1 victory over Hearts of Midlothian.
However, the trio have since been demoted to training with the academy as they prepare to be moved on.
Krul to leave after more than a decade
Krul is one of United’s longest serving players having been at the club since 2006, but the shot-stopper has found himself loaned under Benítez.
The Dutch international signed a new one-year deal in 2016 before joining Ajax for six months and then AZ Alkmaar in January for the remainder of the season.
Krul failed to make the impact he would have hoped at both Eredivisie clubs and returned to Newcastle.
Meanwhile, Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow impressed for the Magpies in the Dutchman’s absence and worked their way up the pecking order above the 29-year-old.
Krul’s inevitable exit shows that Benítez isn’t scared to cut the more senior players as he builds his squad ready for the clubs return to the Premier League.
More departures expected
Benítez was honest in his post-match press conference at Preston North End when asked whether players would be able to work their way into his plans.
“No, not all of them – we have too many.
“We have to get down to 25 players and try to adjust,” he added.
Newcastle have already seen Daryl Murphy, Yoan Gouffran and Vernon Anita leave the club this summer and it is believed there will be more departures before the Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur.