Alan Smith is set to turn down a coaching role at Newcastle United after confirming he would be the first summer exit from St James Park.
The 31-year-old’s contract runs out on June 30 and he will be leaving the club that signed him for £6million after turning down an offer to return and start his coaching career in Newcastle’s Academy.
Instead Smith – who was popular in the United dressing room – wants to play on, although he remains close with boss Alan Pardew and neither party has ruled out a reunion in the future.
Newcastle are set to announce their detailed retained list at the start of next week and Smith has not been made an offer to stay at United.
Smith has had a difficult but enjoyable time one Tyneside after making 77 appearances for the club, in a stop start career since leaving breaking his leg for former club Manchester United.
The former Leeds rookie began his career as a clinical centre forward netting regularly at the top level, and especially had an impressive record against the Toon Army.
And by the time Smith arrived at Newcastle he had been molded into a more defensive, holding midfield player due to injuries affecting his once rapid pace and sharp agility.
But he quickly adapted on Tyneside and was effective in a time which saw the club get relegated and change managers regularly with the club having many off the field issues, Smith became a leading influence in the changing room and captained the club on several occasions.
And after spending 5 years with the Toon Army, Smith has become frustrated due to previous injuries and other stars like Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote preventing him from making an appearance for United in this year’s successful campaign.
This led the Yorkshire born, 31 year old having a loan spell at League One club MK Dons to play first team football.
Smith had been subject to criticism from fans and pundits, insinuating that he was trying to prolong his career at Newcastle for financial reasons, but the news from Smith now is that he doesn’t want to just sit on the bench and pick up wages.
Many fans won’t be disappointed that the off the radar veteran is now leaving the Toon, as new talent is on its way into Alan Pardew’s successful squad.