Arsenal lead Celtic in race for Newcastle United and England U21 goalkeeper Freddie Woodman
Freddie Woodman could be set for a summer move to Arsenal after growing frustrated with his lack of opportunities at Newcastle United.
The young goalkeeper is understood to be on the radar of the North London giants as they look to bolster their ranks ahead of next season with Petr Cech retiring
Woodman has made three first-team starts for Newcastle this season, all in the cups, and was on the bench for a number of Premier League games after injuries to Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot.
However, Darlow's return to fitness has seen Woodman relegated from the matchday squad again, and he now finds himself in limbo and concerned about his career.
That has alerted Arsenal again, with the Gunners having already scouted the player on a number of occasions, as first reported by the Gazette back in October.Woodman's father, Andy, who was goalkeeper coach at Newcastle under Alan Pardew, is now head of Arsenal's academy goalkeeping, while Chris Terpcou is also on the goalkeeping staff at Islington. Terpcou too worked alongside Woodman at Newcastle.
With Gunners No 1 Cech set to retire, Arsenal want someone to come in and challenge Bernd Leno, and have identified Woodman as one of the best young prospects.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez would like to keep Woodman, and sell Elliot and Darlow ahead of him, but the 22-year-old is believed to want a move to further his career. Woodman has just 12 months left on his contract and is unlikely to sign a new one, having turned down an extension last summer.
He hasn't played since the FA Cup game against Watford on January 26 and was only on the bench for England Under-21s' European Championships qualifier against Poland last week, though he could get a start tonight in the friendly against Germany.
Woodman was frustrated by Newcastle blocking him a loan move this season, having previously had spells at Crawley Town, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen.
His form on loan north of the border has seen Celtic continue to scout him, and the Glasgow giants could rival Arsenal for his signature in the summer.