Newcastle Release Eleven Players, Including Danny Guthrie

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Danny Guthrie of Newcastle United celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on January 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Newcastle announced Friday the release of 11 players whose contracts had run out, among them Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands, and Alan Smith. The club also extended the contracts of 5 additional players.

Guthrie, 25, is an attacking midfielder who spent much of the 2011-12 campaign capably playing in a holding role for the injured Cheik Tiote. He is seeking a chance to play everyday elsewhere:

Massive thank you to all toon fans its been great but I have to be playing first team football, the toon will always be in my heart

[Twitter, May 17]

He is reportedly coveted by Aston Villa and Reading.

Peter Lovenkrands, 32, helped the club achieve promotion in 2009-10 and has since played the part of cup hero several times over. He has recently gained attention for his charity work for the Danish Alzheimer's Society. (Mark Douglas, The Journal) The disease claimed his father in 2010.

Lovenkrands has not been connected with any clubs in the press as far as I am aware, but surely there will be some lower level clubs that could benefit from his services.

The notorious Alan Smith was also instrumental in the Championship campaign, but was made redundant by the purchase of Tiote in the summer of 2010. He spent the latter half of the most recent season on loan at MK Dons. His release is notable for Newcastle in that they have now rid themselves of a £60,000 a week salary.

Smith is expected to join the Dons on a permanent basis.

Also released by Newcastle today were Samuel Adjei, Phil Airey, Ryan Donaldson, Stephen Folan, Jeff Henderson, Tamas Kadar, Greg McDermott and Patrick Nzuzi. The majority of these are players who will cross the age 21 threshold soon, making them subject to squad restrictions.

The following five players were offered new contracts: Defender Paul Dummett, midfielder Bradden Inman, midfielder Conor Newton, midfielder Michael Richardson, and defender James Tavernier. All but Richardson will turn 21 before January 1, making them subject to squad restrictions. All four players qualify as "home grown" according to both FA and UEFA regulations. With the possible exceptions of Tavernier and Richardson, these players will probably be loaned out before Newcastle name their 25-man squad.

The currently constructed squad contains 29 players over the age of 21:

Steve Harper**
Fabricio Coloccini
Davide Santon
Yohan Cabaye
Danny Simpson*
Mike Williamson*
Papiss Cisse
Hatem Ben Arfa
James Perch*
Dan Gosling*
Ryan Taylor*
Jonas Gutierrez
Demba Ba
Leon Best*
Fraser Forster**
Sylvain Marveaux
Shola Ameobi**
Cheik Tiote
Gabriel Obertan
Tim Krul**
Steven Taylor**
Shane Ferguson**
James Tavernier**
Rob Elliot*
Xisco
Romain Amalfitano
Paul Dummett**
Bradden Inman**
Conor Newton**

* = Qualifies as Home Grown for the Premier League; 8 of these are required
** = Qualifies as Home Grown for both the Premier League and the Europa League; 4 of these are required

A list of all players released by Premier League clubs is available at the official website.

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