Mali striker offered as Shola Ameobi departs Newcastle United

Shola Ameobi heads a list of nine players who leave Newcastle as they continue work in France on possible recruits

2013 Getty Images Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi
Shola Ameobi

Newcastle United have been offered the services of Bordeaux’s Mali international striker Cheick Diabate – as Shola Ameobi checks out of St James’ Park after 14 eventful years.

The powerful forward has been put to the Magpies, who have tied up a deal for Tenerife forward Ayoze Perez this week – and have made a fresh enquiry about Bafetimbi Gomis, only to be put off by his wage demands.

Whether United follow up the offer of Diabate or not is unclear, but Newcastle now have a single fit senior striker on their books after yesterday’s release of the Premier League’s retained list confirmed that Ameobi would be leaving the club in the summer after a career that saw him make just shy of 400 appearances in black and white.

Newcastle also confirmed the departures of Luuk de Jong – with the club deciding not to follow up on the loan deal struck with Borussia Monchengladbach in January – and France striker Loic Remy.

Remy has informed Newcastle that he wants to assess his options this summer and United have resolved to look elsewhere for their forward options. They have spent the week in France working on deals, with midfield playmaker Remy Cabella of Montpellier one of their priority targets.

Yesterday’s release of the retained list carried few surprises, with Ameobi’s departure set in stone a while ago, despite Pardew’s efforts to try to keep the player at St James’ Park in some capacity.

The club also allowed Michael Richardson, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele and Jonathan Mitchell to leave as they continued to clear the decks following last season’s disappointing campaign.

Dan Gosling has already left for Bournemouth, while Conor Newton, who had spent last season on loan at St Mirren, signed a deal with Rotherham United.

However, it was the departure of their experienced striker which was probably the story of the day. Ameobi said he had “put his soul” into Newcastle United during his long period of service to the club.

He told the club’s official website: “I’ve managed to live that dream and be a part of the history and fabric of this great club. That is something I don’t take lightly, and I fully appreciate how lucky I have been.

“I hope the fans realise that I have given everything for this club – blood, sweat and my soul.

“Hopefully they can appreciate that.

“You have a lot of players who come and go but I have tried to be true to myself every single game and every single season, and I can sleep at night knowing I couldn’t have done any more.

“What I have put on the table has been all of me, and I am very proud to be able to say that.”

Ameobi’s departure may not be the only significant one from the club in the summer.

French newspapers reported yesterday that United had effectively transfer-listed Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gabriel Obertan, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massaido Haidara.

Pardew has reservations about Yanga-Mbiwa’s aerial ability, and Newcastle seem set to test the water to see if someone will come in for him.

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