Rafa Benitez responds to Isaac Hayden's request to leave Newcastle
Rafa Benitez was coy on Isaac Hayden's future ahead of Newcastle United's FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers.
Hayden this week reiterated his desire to leave the club in this month’s transfer window to be with his infant daughter.
The midfielder told the Gazette: “It’s been difficult, but the club have known for six months what the situation is, and there have been a few conversations already.
“We’ll just see what happens over the next few weeks.
“As far as I’m concerned, I just get on with my job in training, and whenever I’m called upon, I try my best.”
Benitez – who blocked a summer move for Hayden – says he regularly speaks to the 23-year-old about his situation.
“I know what he thinks, because I was talking with him during the summer and now, but we will try do what we have to do – the best for the team and the best for everyone,” said United’s manager.
Hayden has started the club’s last three games with Ki Sung-yueng away with South Korea for the Asian Cup.
And the former England Under-21 international could start this evening’s FA Cup tie against Blackburn at St James’s Park.
“He’s training well, he’s working hard, he’s professional,” said Benitez. “He’s fine.”
Asked if there was a chance Hayden could leave this month, Benitez said: “He’s in the squad, so that is the main thing.”