Vurnon Anita admits he had offers to leave Newcastle this summer but could not bring himself to move

Newcastle's Jack Colback, Vurnon Anita and Papiss Cisse look dejected in the 5-1 loss to Crystal Palace

The versatile Dutchman is a popular figure on Tyneside.

Newcastle United's Vurnon Anita and Huddersfield Town's Jonathan Hogg in action

Newcastle United star Vurnon Anita has told Voetbal International that there was "indirect interest" in his signature this summer but admitted that he could not bring himself to leave the Magpies at such a low time.

Anita has become one of the most popular stars on Tyneside, both for his versatility and commitment on the pitch and his passion off the field.

After being an important squad member in his first few years at St. James' Park, the 27-year-old became a regular fixture in the side under Rafa Benitez in the final weeks of last season, and has remained as such this term.

Derby County's Tom Ince has a shot blocked by Newcastle United's Vurnon Anita

The Dutchman has played 12 times in all competitions, appearing in a variety of positions thanks to his ability to play at full-back as well as across the midfield.

Anita has now revealed that he had ample opportunity to leave Newcastle in the summer transfer window but stressed that a combination of the club's relegation and his relationship with Benitez meant that he felt compelled to stay.

He told Voetbal International: "There was some indirect interest, also from the Netherlands. At Newcastle I have experienced many good times, in difficult times like now I did not feel ready to need to leave.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez speaks to Newcastle United's Vurnon Anita after he is sent off

"And I liked working with the manager, Rafa Benitez, in the second half of last season. My contract expires after this season, so it's a year on full throttle."

As Anita mentioned, he has entered the last year of his contract on Tyneside and so may feel hat he is playing for his future.

He would be forgiven for taking the opportunity to leave if the Magpies get mired in the Championship, but as it is, with the club top of the second tier and looking odds-on for promotion, he will surely want to extend his stay if given the chance.

Bristol City's Callum O' Dowda in action with Newcastle United's Vurnon Anita.

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