Rafa Benitez gives update on Arsenal target Freddie Woodman's Newcastle future
Newcastle United are yet to make a decision on a January loan for Freddie Woodman, according to Rafa Benitez.
The goalkeeper was left frustrated in the summer after the club blocked a loan move.
Woodman – who spent the second half of last season at Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen – was keen to play first-team football away from St James's Park in readiness for a challenge for the goalkeeping jersey at Newcastle next term.
United, however, opted to keep Woodman on Tyneside after he refused to sign a one-year extension to his contract, which runs to 2020.
The England Under-21 international unhappiness at his situation has alerted a number of clubs, including Arsenal.
Benitez has acknowledged that the 21-year-old needs regular football at this stage of his career, though Newcastle's manager has hinted that he must commit his future to the club before being allowed out on loan.
“I was talking with Lee (Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director) about different players, so we know more or less the majority of them," said Benitez, who has four goalkeepers at the club.
"Now it’s just to make decisions when the time is right. We agree that he has to play, but, at the same time, he has to have a future with the club.”
United wanted Woodman to sign a one-year extension on the same terms as his existing deal, which was signed in 2016 before he won the World Cup with England’s Under-20s and made his first-team debut.