Rafa Benitez has revealed that talks have taken place with Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran and Cheick Tiote.

The three players all see their current Newcastle United deals come to an end in June 2017.

The United boss gave no indication as to any outcome from the talks and even whether or not he would like to keep any or all of the trio.

Vurnon Anita has confirmed that initial talks have taken place with the club but nothing of substance has been agreed.

If Cheick Tiote was given another deal, it would be an even more bizarre decision than when Mike Ashley/Lee Charnley thought it was a good idea for Fabricio Coloccini to get an extended deal in summer 2015. However, there is a debate to be had about the other two players.

With Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran (and for that matter, Cheick Tiote), the only question that needs to be answered, is whether they would be first choice players if Newcastle return to the Premier League in August 2017.

If the answer is no, which it is for me, then it would be a big step backwards to hand any of the trio another contract.

Whilst at the end of last season Gouffran looked to have no future at all at Newcastle, even in the Championship short-term, Vurnon Anita was first choice towards the end of that Premier League campaign.

The fact nothing was done with deciding another contract then, was very likely down to the sizeable money he is on at the moment, the kind of money Newcastle wouldn’t fancy keeping on paying for a player who won’t get many/any first team matches in the Premier League.

Vurnon Anita talking to the Chronicle:

“I take it game by game, training by training, I just do my thing – then I will see what the future brings.

“I’m just focused now on the next game, helping the team to become champions.

“I’m happy and you can see it on the pitch – because on the pitch you only ever see my smiley face, so I’m good.

“It’s only been a couple of talks (with the club about Anita’s future) so far but further than that, nothing yet.

“Of course I’m enjoying it (playing right-back rather than midfield) because we are winning, that is the most important thing, we’re winning and I’m playing games, so I’m happy.

“It has been great to play but even the other seasons I was happy.

“Maybe I didn’t play as much as now but I stayed focused and I kept going like always.”