Date: 23rd April 2010 at 6:05am
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Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt, who is the club captain at Newcastle United is expected to retire at the end of the Championship campaign, reports claim.

The 35-year-old has only featured in 16 starts in the Magpies’ Championship season, and is seriously contemplating retiring, although a further season may be in him, be it, with another club as the Toon are unwilling to invite him back to the first team.

Chris Hughton does not rate Butt as a player, but considers him an integral part of what goes on behind the scenes at St James’ Park, and a coaching position is always open for the former England International, reports say.

The Mancunian, who has made 565 club appearances, played 39 times for England and was famously named by Pele as one of the stars of the 2002 World Cup ­finals.

“At this moment, Nicky has not officially said that he will retire, but I know that`s an option,“ said Hughton.

“But he will be the one lifting the trophy as club captain.

“In the period of time I have been here, Nicky has been a wonderful ­ambassador, as you would expect from someone who achieved so much with Manchester United.

“With the squad we have got, he has not had the amount of minutes on the pitch that someone with his competitive nature would have liked.

“He is a very hard player to leave out, but when we have needed ­performances out of him, we have got them.“