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Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe has admitted Scotland international Ryan Fraser is unlikely to have a future at St James’ Park.

The 29-year-old joined the Magpies on a five-year deal as a free agent after leaving Bournemouth – where he had worked with Howe previously – during the summer of 2020, but has been absent from the squad in recent months.

Asked about Fraser’s situation, the Magpies boss said somewhat cryptically: “Ryan’s training with the Under-21s. I made the decision to concentrate on players that are committed to Newcastle. For the benefit of the group, I’ve made that call.”

Asked further if the former Aberdeen winger had a future on Tyneside, Howe added: “I think that’s a difficult one for me to answer.

“I’d never put a firm decision on that because life and football can change quickly. But I’d say at the moment, no he doesn’t.”

Fraser was signed by former boss Steve Bruce and has made 59 appearances, 24 of them as a substitute, for the club over two-and-a-half seasons.

However, he had not played for Newcastle since coming off the bench in a 1-0 Premier League victory over Everton on October 19, in part because of a calf injury, and his last competitive game came in Scotland’s 2-1 friendly defeat in Turkey the following month.