Arsenal and Celtic target in limbo at Newcastle United after contract talks stall

Newcastle United are yet to make a fresh contract offer to Freddie Woodman – and a clutch of clubs are weighing up bids for the goalkeeper.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 6:44 am
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 6:48 am
Freddie Woodman.

Arsenal, Celtic, Fulham and Everton have been linked with summer moves for highly-rated Woodman, who is out of contract at St James’s Park at the end of next season.

Last summer the 22-year-old rejected the offer of one-year extension on the same terms as his existing deal, which was signed in 2016.

Freddie Woodman with the Golden Glove at the 2017 Under-20 World Cup.

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United reacted to that decision by blocking a loan move for the England Under-21 international, who was keen to be playing week in, week out this season.

Woodman – who spent the second half of last season at Aberdeen – was left frustrated by the club’s refusal to allow him out on loan.

Speaking in October, Rafa Benitez said: “We agree that he has to play

“But, at the same time, he has to have a future with the club.”

Woodman went on to make three FA Cup appearances for Newcastle in January.

The Gazette understands that there has been no movement on Woodman’s contract since last summer – and his long-term future is in the balance.

Woodman – who won the Golden Glove award after helping England’s Under-20s win the World Cup in 2017 – is understood to want to know what the plan is for his development at United.

The Croydon-born player – whose father Andy used to be goalkeeping coach at Newcastle, and now works at Arsenal’s Academy – is also understood to be interesting clubs on the continent.

Benitez last addressed Woodman’s situation in December, when he was promoted to the bench after No 2 Karl Darlow suffered an elbow injury.

“He’s happy, because now he’s No 2 and is training well,” said Newcastle’s manager. “He has a great future.

“Young keepers want to play, but he knows now he has an opportunity to be there. He’s pushing Darlow really hard.”

Woodman has also had loan spells at Kilmarnock and Crawley Town.