Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Aleksandar Mitrovic signals his intention to leave Newcastle in January

Aleksandar Mitrovic has signalled his intention to leave Newcastle in January after failing to force his way into Rafael Benitez's plans.

The Serbia international, who joined the Magpies from Anderlecht during the summer of 2015, is currently sidelined by a back injury but has found himself surplus to requirements at St James' Park under the Spaniard despite the club's Premier League difficulties.

Benitez has nevertheless insisted he will be going nowhere unless he has a replacement, although Mitrovic appears to be desperate to leave.

The 23-year-old told Serbian sports daily Zurnal: "I persistently waited for the chance over the past months and I did not get it.

"I'm sorry - after all, I loved Newcastle but it's time for me to look more to myself, to find the best solution for my career.

"I tried to be honest with myself and my team-mates at every training and match. And the fact that I did not get a chance is simply not up to me. Everyone knows that I was left unintentionally in the background.

"I never felt better, I'm physically in flawless form, I can not wait to play. The most important thing is to find a club and finally get a chance in the field."

Mitrovic remains a fans' favourite on Tyneside despite making only seven senior appearances this season, with Benitez preferring summer signing Joselu and last season's top scorer Dwight Gayle.

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