Brentford manager Dean Smith has called any move for winger Alan Judge ‘premature’.
Newcastle United have again been linked with a move for the Irish star as they look to bolster their squad in the January transfer window.
RafaBenitez was keen on a move for the 27-year-old in the summer, but put it on hold as Judge recovered from a broken leg.
Newcastle have again been linked with a cut-price move for the player as they face losing players to the African Cup of Nations next month. However, Bees manager Smith believes it is more important for Judge to regain full fitness before discussing any potential move away from Griffin Park – revealing he has yet to return to first-team training.
Smith said: “For all the talk of Alan Judge going anywhere, he’s not had a training session yet. I think it’s all a bit premature.
“We want Alan to get back to full fitness and return to the player he was.
“He’s in a good place and he’s striking balls and he’s yet to be coming into the training sessions with the lads.”
Judge is out of contract in the summer and United could land their man on a free transfer should they wait.
There has been no indication that Judge is willing to sign a new deal at the club, and Smith admits he has not heard any talk of a new contract.
He added: “Not that I know of but that’s one for the directors of football, not me.”
Newcastle, meanwhile, have also been linked for another winger, Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass, who is also out of contract in the summer.