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Peter Beardsley’s accuser among 19 young players released by Newcastle

Manager Rafael Benitez has started a clear-out as he plots the way ahead.

A player at the centre of bullying allegations against Peter Beardsley is among 19 members of the under-23s squad to be released by Newcastle.

Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, who made two senior appearances for the club during the 2016-17 season, is to leave as part of a clear-out of the junior ranks as an investigation into his complaint against under-23s manager Beardsley, who denies the accusations, continues.

The news was announced on Friday when the Magpies revealed their retained list, which will see senior players Massadio Haidara and Jesus Gamez head out of St James’ Park when their contracts expire at the end of the month.

Manager Rafael Benitez said: “I would like to say thank you to the players who are leaving us this summer for their hard work and commitment while with the club.

“Letting players go is always a difficult decision and I wish each of them only the best for their football careers.”

Youngsters Luke Charman and Callum Roberts have been offered new deals, but Australian defender Curtis Good will also leave after six years on Tyneside.

Benitez, who is still in talks with Newcastle over extending his own contract which has 12 months to run, is hoping to significantly strengthen the first team squad this summer after guiding the club to a 10th-placed Premier League finish last season.

He has already completed a permanent deal for Sparta Prague keeper Martin Dubravka but also wants to revamp the youth set-up and facilities at the club’s Darsley Park training headquarters.

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