In Focus: Newcastle United in difficult position with Anita and Gouffran

According to the Chronicle, Newcastle United pair Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran could yet have a future at the club, despite their contracts running out this summer.

What’s the word?

Though both struggled to convince towards the latter stages of the Toon Army’s time in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez has afforded them a new lease of life in the Sky Bet Championship.

While both have been fixtures of the Magpies’ starting XI this term, the report suggests top brass on Tyneside may offer them revised deals should they seal promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking. The chances of securing contracts similar to the ones they are on now are reportedly remote, though there is said to be a chance they could be offered reduced terms.

Preliminary talks are thought to have been held between they and the club as they enter the closing stages of their current deals.

Ready for the Premier League?

The deals are said to be pending promotion to the Premier League. While neither Anita or Gouffran proved overly inspiring during their previous stints amongst the English elite, they could provide relatively cheap squad options as Benitez builds a new squad.

Anita, in particular, is able to operate in a number of different positions and was the Toon’s first-choice right-back until recently this season. Gouffran, meanwhile, has proved an effective option from the left, as well as playing as a central striker against teams who struggle to defend against pace.

So, as squad options, yes. Still, it depends on the kind of deals they agree to if they are going to continue their career at St. James’ Park, with Newcastle previously tending to waste money on such squad options in years gone by.

Neither are likely to define Newcastle’s (potential) first season back in the top-flight, though could lend a helping hand.