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NEWPORT County have decided to part company with defender Billy Jones, writes Michael Pearlman.

The Argus can reveal that the former Cheltenham man will become a free agent from next week when his short term contract expires.

Jones, 26, joined the Exiles in September after it was discovered that left back Andy Sandell required surgery.

Versatile and seemingly equally adept at left back, wing back or as a central defender, Jones has played eight times for boss Justin Edinburgh, impressing and even managing a goal on his debut against Morecambe.

However, since Sandell has returned to form and Robbie Willmott has come to prominence on the left flank, Jones has found himself marginalised.

He hasn’t featured for Newport since their 2-0 home win over Hartlepool in the middle of November and will now have the majority of January to find himself a permanent deal elsewhere.

“We are going to let Billy leave when his contract is up, which I believe is next week or even this weekend,” Edinburgh explained.

“We wish him well, but he’s not had the chances he’d have liked.

“We also let George Barker and Deji Oshilaja go back to their parent clubs after their loan spells, Cardiff with a new manager want to take a proper look at Deji and it’s understandable.”

Edinburgh admits it was a better scenario for him when Malky Mackay was Cardiff boss, since replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Deji served us fantastically and has a bright future, if the managerial situation hadn’t changed we would’ve been able to keep him here,” he said. “We would certainly have liked that.

“I had a fantastic relationship with Malky and David Kerslake (Mackay’s assistant and the best man at Edinburgh’s wedding) and I hope that we can establish new links with Cardiff.

“I will speak to Ole when his feet are under the table and explain the relationship we were building up with Cardiff, hopefully he’ll see that it can work very well for both football clubs.

“I don’t know Ole, only as a player, but I feel it’s a key partnership and hopefully he will see it that way as well.”