Newcastle manager Graeme Souness has confirmed that the club wants Olivier Bernard to stay.

The French full back is out of contract in the summer and talks have been ongoing for a number of weeks concerning an extension.

However, the 25-year-old has yet to sign and has insisted that he would have no qualms about leaving.

Souness said: “Olivier is talking to the club about a new contract.

“His concerns are that his deal runs out in the summer, but the club would like him to stay. In fact he has been made a very good offer.

“As the rules are today, if he doesn’t want to accept it then he doesn’t have to.”

If Bernard fails to re-sign it will further add to Souness’s defensive problems, which the Magpies boss is already keen deal with when the transfer window reopens in January. Newcastle lost central defender Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid in August for £13.4m and have yet to find a replacement.

St James’ Park boss Graeme Souness has confirmed that he is interested in luring Jean-Alain Boumsong from former club Rangers, but it appears the Glasgow club will do all they can to keep the giant Frenchman at Ibrox.

Rangers beat a host of clubs to Boumsong’s signature and they are keen to keep him as he has made a massive impact in Glasgow.

Agent Willie McKay, who brokered the deal to bring Boumsong to Rangers, said: “A number of big clubs are keen on Jean-Alain Boumsong, but Rangers do not want to sell him.

“Rangers got him on a great deal in the summer and it will be difficult to prise him away, especially with the form he has shown at Rangers and the position they are now in, both in the league and UEFA Cup.”

Souness has watched the former Auxerre star in action and been sufficiently impressed to plan a bid in January.