Levein wields axe at Leicester as Foxes look to reduce wages

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The Independent Football

The Leicester City manager, Craig Levein, has cut a swathe through the Leicester City dressing room by axing six first-team players, including the goalkeeper Ian Walker and the defender Nikos Dabizas.

Both players have been told their contracts will not be renewed, while Scot Gemmill, Lilian Nalis, Keith Gillespie and Nathan Blake will also depart.

Levein, under pressure to cut an annual wage bill estimated at £11m, said none of the four would be selected for the final match of the season against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park. But 36-year-old Dion Dublin has been offered a new one-year deal with the 19-year-old midfielder Stephen Dawson also given new terms.

The futures of the goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, Jason Wilcox and Jamie Scowcroft, who is on loan at Ipswich Town, are to be discussed next week. Meanwhile, Celtic's utility player Momo Sylla has joined the Foxes on trial.

Another player being released by his club is the Sunderland striker Marcus Stewart, who will play his last game against Stoke City tomorrow.

The striker, who has scored 17 goals this season, is out of contract in June and has been told by the manager, Mick McCarthy, that he will not be part of the team that plays in the Premiership next season.

"It was a difficult decision but it's all been very amicable," McCarthy said.

The former Ipswich man was one of Peter Reid's last signings, joining in August 2002 for around £3m.

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