Colchester United manager John McGreal has told the Daily Gazette that Newcastle United have already decided to release Cal Roberts this summer.
Roberts, 21, was born in nearby South Shields and joined the Newcastle ranks back in 2005, aged just eight.
The winger has been making his way up through the Newcastle ranks, and signed a first professional deal amid real hope that he would become a first-team player.
After loan spells with Gateshead and Kilmarnock, Roberts did get a first-team opportunity under Rafael Benitez in January, starting against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.
Roberts showed his quality by scoring in that game, but he was loaned out to League Two side Colchester United just days later.
On Wednesday, Roberts was sent back to Newcastle after a difficult time in Essex, and it sadly seems that his long-term future lies away from St James' Park.
Colchester boss McGreal has revealed that Newcastle have told Roberts, who is out of contract this summer, that they have already decided not to offer him a new deal.
Given his long association to Newcastle, it's no great surprise that Roberts was damaged by the news, with McGreal suggesting his 'head went', and Newcastle want to put him in the shop window in their Under-23's – but Colchester may consider signing him for free this summer.
“Cal was told the other week by Newcastle that he wasn’t getting a contract,” said McGreal. “His head went a little bit to be fair because I think he was thinking that there was a possibility of him getting a contract there. He’s been there all his career and played for them, this year.”
“It’s been tough for Cal and he’s been away from home. He’s still got a bit of a sore ankle and he wants to get that right and I think Newcastle pulled him back to get him some training and get him into the under-23s and put a little bit into the shop window.”
“We know he’ll be out of contract and Newcastle have told him. We’d consider everyone in the summer because at this moment in time, recruitment drives and things are getting flagged up,” he added.