French duo fly Magpies nest

Newcastle United have announced the departure of Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux from the embattled Premier League club by mutual consent.

Rafael Benitez's side are just one point clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play, although 18th-placed Sunderland and 19th-placed Norwich City both have a match in hand.

The Magpies have started making preparations for the new season by reducing their squad, with winger Obertan and midfielder Marveaux free to find new clubs.

The French duo were contracted to the Tynesiders until the end of June, but they both agreed to an early release this week after being told they no longer feature in the club's future plans.

The 27-year-old Obertan arrived at St James' Park from Manchester United in 2011, but failed to establish himself in the first team over the next five seasons, scoring three goals in 77 appearances across all competitions. His last outing for the Toon came in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea on September 26.

The 30-year-old Marveaux, who was signed from Rennes in the same year as his compatriot, spent much of his career in the north-east on the treatment table, with a succession of injuries limiting him to just 57 appearances in all competitions and contributing only two goals.

"Newcastle United can confirm that Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux have left St. James' Park by mutual consent," the club confirmed in a statement on their official website.

"The contracts of the French pair were due to expire this summer, but with them almost certainly not going to feature in the Magpies' remaining games of the 2015/16 season, a settlement was agreed earlier this week, allowing them to find new clubs.

"Everyone at Newcastle United wishes Gabriel and Sylvain the very best for the future."