NEWCASTLE UNITED have started a summer clear-out of players no longer wanted at St James’ Park after offloading Sylvain Marveaux.
Despite interest in the winger from Montpellier, Guingamp were first to broker a deal with the Magpies which sees him move to France on a season-long loan.
Guingamp, who finished level on points with Montpellier narrowly above the Ligue 1 relegation zone last season, were reluctant to pay a £3m transfer fee but have agreed to pay a large portion of the player’s wages.
He was identified by coach Jocelyn Gourvennec early in the summer as a prime target and Guingamp hope to see the player stay fit and prove himself again in his home country.
Marveaux was left behind to sort out his future when Newcastle flew out to New Zealand for a pre-season trip, which started yesterday morning with a 4-0 win over Sydney FC.
He has struggled for form and fitness since opting for St James’ Park rather than Liverpool two summers ago when he was a free agent. He only made 11 appearances for Newcastle and has never successfully held a first team shirt under Alan Pardew.
Marveaux, who had 11 caps for France’s Under-21s but never made a bow for the senior squad, showed glimpses of his ability during his time on Tyneside but was never seen as a man for Pardew to rely on.
That has prompted discussions with clubs in France and his departure could be followed by a number of others. Newcastle, who have already sold Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal, are also looking to move on Marveaux’s compatriots Hatem Ben Arfa, Gabriel Obertan and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Ideally, though, Newcastle could bring in some money.
Yanga-Mbiwa, a £6.7m buy from Montpellier 19 months ago, is the only one of that quartet to have travelled Down Under and he is the likeliest to stay even though Ben Arfa - who played in a training ground friendly with Queen of the South yesterday - has made it clear he would prefer to win back his place.
There was actually a starting and scoring role for Yanga- Mbiwa against Sydney yesterday when he played the full 90 minutes in a friendly when eight substitutes were used.
New signings Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere both scored to help them ease in to the Newcastle way of doing things. It was De Jong’s second in as many games to give the Magpies a 19th minute lead in Dunedin.
The £7.5m buy from Ajax tucked away the tidy finish from distance after Riviere had pounced on a mistake from Sydney keeper Ivan Necevski. The latter, arriving from Monaco last week, then turned goalscorer when he finished from close range from Yoan Gouffran’s delivery in to the area.
Yanga-Mbiwa made it three in the 33rd minute when his deflected shot found its way past Necevski into the bottom corner. Then young forward Adam Armstrong grabbed Newcastle’s last with eight minutes remaining when he ended a move involving Ayoze Perez and Adam Campbell in style.
A minute’s silence was observed prior to kick-off in tribute to Newcastle fans John Alder, 63, and Liam Sweeney, 28, who were both tragically killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine last week. Fans also paid tribute to John and Liam with a minute of applause on the minutes of their ages while pictures of both were shown on screens inside the Forsyth Barr Stadium.