EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle to loan out Smith
Published 22:00 26/10/11 By Alan Nixon
Newcastle are ready to send forgotten man Alan Smith out on loan.
Smith has been on the fringes of the side for the past year, and the Toon will now let him leave to get some match action in the Championship.
The news, which was flashed around the nation's clubs on Wednesday, may alert Smith’s hometown club and former employers Leeds, who have tried to re-sign him in the past.
West Ham could also come in for him - Hammers boss Sam Allardyce bought Smith to Newcastle from Manchester United for £6million in 2007, when he was manager there.
However, any deal will depend on who offers Newcastle the best ‘rental’ terms for the 30-year-old.
Smith, who is in the final year of a £60,000-a-week contract, would also be putting himself in the shop window for a permanent move if he goes out on loan - as his future seems bleak on Tyneside.
His first-team opportunities this season have been limited to one brief substitute appearance against Fulham in August.
Toon boss Alan Pardew is also willing to loan out highly-rated Northern Ireland starlet Shane Ferguson and talented Slovenian Haris Vuckic for the rest of the year.
Left-sider Ferguson is sure to attract interest, while Vuckic is wanted by a couple of clubs - and Pardew is keen for both to go somewhere for game time.
With Newcastle’s first-team squad very settled after a flying start to the season, Pardew feels the time is right to give his fringe men a chance to play somewhere.
While Smith would be playing to impress future employers, Ferguson and Vuckic remain part of the Newcastle manager's long-term thinking.