Newcastle release TEN players including Andy Carroll as owner Mike Ashley takes a step towards £300m sale of club

NEWCASTLE have released ten players including Andy Carroll as Mike Ashley takes another step towards a £300million sale of the club.

Carroll, 32, made 43 appearances across two years since returning to his boyhood side.

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But with just one goal in that time, a consolation against Leicester in January, he did not do enough to earn a new contract and will become a free agent on June 30.

Also following Carroll out of the St James' Park exit door are former Chelsea players Christian Atsu and Kyle Scott.

Owen Bailey, Ludwig Francillette, Lucas Gamblin, Florent Indalecio, George Rounsfell, Henri Saivet and Oliver Walters will also be leaving at the end of the month.

Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett are all out of contract but do not feature on the list on the Premier League website, which also featured David Luiz, Sergio Romero and Danny Rose.

That could suggest the Toon trio may be in negotiations over extensions.

Releasing the ten players will help free up some cash from the wage bill as Ashley looks to sell up.

As revealed by SunSport, the Magpies owner is confident a £300m takeover will go through.

And the controversial Ashley is so confident he has told the Saudi Arabian consortium, headed by Amanda Staveley, to be ready to go within a month.

Newcastle’s released players

Owen Bailey, 22
Andy Carroll, 32
Ludwig Francillette, 22
Lucas Gamblin, 18
Florent Indalecio, 23
George Rounsfell, 19
Henri Saivet, 30
Kyle Scott, 23
Christian Atsu, 29
Oliver Walters, 21

Sports Direct chief Ashley — who bought the club in 2007 — has been involved in a legal battle with the Premier League for almost eight months.

The group, which comprises of Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, became impatient that Premier League rulers had dragged their feet over the purchase of Newcastle.

A deal was agreed in principle in April of last year but it fell through three months later as Premier League lawyers struggled to establish the precise links between the consortium and the Saudi state.

But 56-year-old Ashley claims the real reason for the delay was caused by the so-called Big Six blocking the sale.

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