Campbell and Kuqi released
Newcastle have released Sol Campbell and Shefki Kuqi as Alan Pardew begins to reshape his squad.
Last Updated: 25/05/11 1:12pm
Newcastle have released Sol Campbell and Shefki Kuqi as manager Alan Pardew begins to reshape his squad.
The pair could not command regular first-team places under Pardew and have left St James' Park as the start of this summer's expected overhaul, with Lorient's Kevin Gameiro reportedly a top target.
Former England defender Campbell joined Newcastle under Chris Hughton last August, but he played in just eight matches in all competitions this season and his last appearance came in the dire 4-0 defeat at Stoke in March.
The 36-year-old ex-Tottenham and Arsenal centre-back had hoped to end his career on a high with Newcastle, but he fell behind Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor in Pardew's plans.
Pardew told the Newcastle Chronicle: "Sol's gone and good luck to him. He has been an icon in the game, but he didn't feature too much here.
"Our centre-backs have been a strong point for us this season and that's perhaps why. But it's good luck to Sol and we must look forward now instead."
Kuqi, meanwhile, was a Pardew signing as an emergency response to the £35million sale of England striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool on transfer deadline day in January.
The 34-year-old was a free agent after leaving Derby last December, but he was little more than cover for a first-choice attacking partnership of Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands.
Finland international Kuqi played just six times for Newcastle, all as a substitute and without a goal, including his last appearance of the campaign in the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.
Pardew said: "He was added to our squad and he didn't get the games he wanted.
"He was a bit frustrated at not getting on as much as he wanted because he came here to show people what he could do.
"The opportunities for him were scarce because our form during that time wasn't bad, we lost just four times in the last 14 games while he was here.
"The fans may not have seen him, but he became a bit of a legend at the training ground, he's been a warrior in training.
"He's gone, though, and I have wished him well. The sad thing is he really took to the place. He loved the people and the area.
"I can only advise teams like Hartlepool and Carlisle United to take a really good look at him this summer. He will be brilliant for them if he got the chance."