ALAN Smith is set to turn down a coaching role at Newcastle United after being confirmed as the first summer exit from St James’ Park.
The 31-year-old’s contract runs out on June 30 and he will be leaving the club that signed him for £6million after turning down an offer to return and start his coaching career in Newcastle’s Academy.
Instead Smith – who was popular in the United dressing room – wants to play on, although he remains close with boss Alan Pardew and neither party has ruled out a reunion in the future.
Newcastle are set to announce their detailed retained list at the start of next week and Smith has not been made an offer to stay at United.
Neither has striker Danish Peter Løvenkrands, although there remains some uncertainty about Danny Guthrie’s intentions, with a potential move to Aston Villa having stalled after Alex McLeish’s departure from the Second City club.
Another club that had interest in the former Liverpool trainee – West Brom – are also currently managerless and Newcastle have not withdrawn the contract offer that was turned down at the start of the year.
But Smith, who revealed to The Journal last month that he had been offered a role on the backroom team, will now be looking for pastures new.
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“It is safe to assume that Alan won’t be signing a new contract at Newcastle,” his agent Alex Black told The Journal yesterday.
“He was told when he left there is a coaching role there if he wants it but I don’t think that will happen.”
As well as the senior men, Newcastle also intend to release a raft of younger players with Tamas Kadar at the head of that list.
United have held talks with James Tavernier’s agent, though, and hope to keep him at the club. There is interest from Championship clubs in the right-back, who has been talked of as a potential first team player at St James’ Park.
Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye (pictured right) believes that playing for Newcastle United has secured his Euro 2012 dream.
The France midfielder is set to start in France’s opener against England on June 11 and believes that the physical side of the Premier League has helped him to establish himself in Laurent Blanc’s first-team plans.
He said: “It’s definitely helped me being at Newcastle because there are a lot of great players and full internationals there.
“You come up against big teams all the time, strong teams, and there are no easy matches. I’ve learnt a lot.
“Playing in midfield in England is a real lung-buster. In France there’s a lot more emphasis on the tactical side of the game, but the full-on nature of football in the Premier League is really helpful when it comes to being ready to play at international level.” Although England go into the tournament looking a tad undercooked, Cabaye believes the Three Lions should be regarded as favourites in Group D.
“It’s a difficult group. Ukraine will be a strong team. They’re at home and that will count for a lot. We beat them last year, but it wasn’t at all easy.
“Then you’ve got Sweden, who are traditionally powerful and have one of the world’s great players in (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.
“We’ll be going into the group looking to win our matches and we’ll be very determined. But for me, England are the favourites. After that we’ll see.”