Rafa Benitez gives fresh update on Karl Darlow’s Newcastle future

Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow. Picture by Frank Reid.
Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow. Picture by Frank Reid.

Karl Darlow could yet stay at Newcastle United, according to Rafa Benitez.

The goalkeeper made his first appearance of pre-season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Preston North End.

We have three keepers and we had to give them some time. We couldn’t leave one person on the bench, because after one week I think they all needed to play.

Rafa Benitez

Darlow, the subject of an unsuccessful £5million bid from Middlesbrough earlier this month, got a 25-minute run-out at Deepdale.

The 26-year-old was a key figure in the club’s Championship-winning campaign.

And Newcastle are prepared to sell him this summer.

However, United manager Benitez says he “hopes” Darlow can stay at St James’s Park.

Asked if he had a future at Newcastle, Benitez said: “I hope so.”

Rob Elliot started the game against Preston, and Freddie Woodman replaced second-half substitute Darlow for the last 20 minutes.

Benitez said: “We have three keepers and we had to give them some time.

“We couldn’t leave one person on the bench, because after one week I think they all needed to play.”

Benitez didn’t take Tim Krul, United’s longstanding No 1, to the club’s training camp in Ireland last week.

Middlesbrough have ended their interest in Darlow after signing Darren Randolph from West Ham United.

Reading also considered a move for Darlow.

However, Jaap Stam went on to sign Vito Mannone from Sunderland.

It remains to be seen whether Krul will play any part in the club’s pre-season campaign. The 29-year-old – who had loan spells at AZ Alkmaar and Ajax last season – trained with the club’s development squad last week.

Meanwhile, Benitez has reacted to Daryl Murphy’s move to Nottingham Forest.

The 34-year-old striker, signed last year from Ipswich Town for his Championship experience, last week moved to the Championship club.

Murphy has signed a three-year deal at the City Ground.

“I said before that when we were in the Championship we brought in a player who has a lot of experience and someone who could score goals,” said Benitez.

“When he was not playing, always he was positive and he could improve the team spirit, so we always knew he could help when we needed him.”