Benitez happy if wantaway Gouffran stays for Magpies’ Championship fight

Yoan Gouffran
Yoan Gouffran
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Rafa Benitez says he’ll be happy if Yoan Gouffran stays at Newcastle United.

Gouffran, available for transfer this summer, started the Magpies’ wins over Bristol City and Reading.

The forward put in a hard-working performance on the wing in Saturday’s 1-0 success at Ashton Gate three days after coming in from the cold at St James’s Park.

Gouffran has been looking to leave the club in search of regular first-team football after a difficult year on Tyneside.

But interested clubs have not, up to now, been willing to meet the 30-year-old’s wage demands.

“The players that were nearly leaving have been training well, but some of them have been working with more intensity than the others, even though they have been in difficult circumstances,” said United manager Benitez.

“He (Gouffran) was one of these players. We knew that maybe he could be in the market this year, and we have had one or two offers, but he was not pleased with them.

“Little by little, I could see that he was still training well and working hard, and could be an option for us.

“Last week, we said ‘are you ready to play’, and he said ‘yes, I am a professional’. That was what I wanted to hear, and when we put him on the pitch, he did well.

“It will not be a problem if he stays. He is a good professional, and he is happy here.

“He has been training well and I think he likes the way we work. If he does not get any fantastic offers that he feels he has to take because he is 30 years old, then he is a player who can give us a lot of things.”