Shola Ameobi could be set for Sydney switch after being released by Newcastle

The 32-year-old will have an opportunity to showcase his talents in Brazil after being selected by Nigeria for the World Cup

Shola Ameobi could be handed a chance to resume his career in Australia after the World Cup.

The 32-year-old striker was confirmed in Nigeria's final 23-man squad for Brazil on Monday night, but will join up with his future uncertain after being released by Newcastle, the club at which he emerged from the ranks.

However, Press Association Sport understands A-League side Sydney have opened talks with Ameobi's representatives as they look to replace veteran former Italian international Alessandro Del Piero.

Ameobi, born in Nigeria but raised on Tyneside, was handed a senior debut for the Magpies as a teenager by then manager Sir Bobby Robson when he was introduced as a substitute in a 0-0 Barclays Premier League draw with Chelsea at St James' Park in September 2000.

In total, he made 402 senior appearances for the club and scored 79 goals, and while he was not always a favourite with fans, his efforts were appreciated by successive managers.

However, current boss Alan Pardew, who is looking to make significant changes to his squad this summer, decided not to offer Ameobi a new contract with his existing deal due to expire at the end of the month.

Nevertheless, Pardew was fulsome in his praise of the player.

He said: "He's been an absolutely magnificent servant for this football club.

"He is one of the nicest, best people I have ever come across as a footballer at a young age, and he is going to have a magnificent career whatever he does - and he could literally do anything."

PA

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