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May 23, 2014

Shola Ameobi leaves Newcastle

Shola Ameobi acknowledges the supporters after his final home match for Newcastle.
Shola Ameobi acknowledges the supporters after his final home match for Newcastle.

Newcastle United have confirmed that long-serving striker Shola Ameobi is leaving the club.

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Nigeria international Ameobi moved to the Newcastle area as a child and came through the youth ranks at the club, making his first-team debut in 2000.

However, his contract expires this summer and the 32-year-old, who scored two goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season, said he felt the time was right to move on.

"Following discussions with Newcastle United, both parties felt it was the right time for us to part company," he told the club's official website.

"I've been at Newcastle United all my career and I've enjoyed every moment and always worn the famous shirt with pride. I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career.

"I would like to place on record a big thank you to everyone at Newcastle United. I wish the club great success in the future and I'm sure with the team and management they have, Newcastle United will go from strength to strength. Finally, a big thank you to the supporters, who have always been fantastic.

"I hope to come back to Newcastle United one day in some capacity to help repay some of the faith and loyalty that everybody connected to the Club has shown me during my time here."

The club's managing director, Lee Charnley, added: "To stay at one club for 14 years is remarkable and something that Shola should be very proud of. We are lucky to have had him for his contribution both on and off the field. I would personally like to thank Shola for his commitment to the club and wish him every success going forward."

Newcastle also confirmed that their loan strikers Loic Remy, of Queens Park Rangers, and Luuk de Jong, of Borussia Moenchengladbach, will not be retained. Remy has reportedly held talks with Liverpool and Arsenal.

Dan Gosling, who will join Bournemouth, and Conor Newton, who has agreed a move to Rotherham, are also leaving the club along with youngsters Michael Richardson, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele and Jonathan Mitchell.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said: "I would like to thank each of these players for the effort, attitude and application they have put in while at the club.

"However, I have to make a special mention of Shola Ameobi, who has been an incredible servant to Newcastle United. Such loyalty and commitment in the modern game is rare and Shola was not just a great player on the pitch but a key figure off it too.

"He is a leader of men, a great role model for our younger players and I wish him well for the remainder of his career."

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