Rafa Benitez says no decision has yet been made on Isaac Hayden’s Newcastle United future.
Hayden wants to leave the club this summer for family reasons – at the third time of asking.
The 24-year-old, a fixture in Benitez’s midfield in the second half of the season, wants to be with his fiancee and infant daughter, who do not live in the North East.
Speaking earlier this month, Hayden said: “I think I’ll be going.
“It’s about finding the right opportunity – one that will allow the club to maximise the profit and be right for myself.”
Benitez has spoken to Hayden, signed from Arsenal three years ago, about his situation ahead of the summer transfer window.
“I have been talking to him,” said United’s manager, who hopes to discuss his own future with owner Mike Ashley this week.
“I told him that, in the end, if you have a contract, you have to see what happens and think about what you would like to do, whether it’s this or that.
“I understand that Isaac has his personal issues. That’s fine, but, at the same time, we have to find the balance which is good for him, but also for the club.”
Asked if he wanted to keep Hayden at Newcastle, Benitez said: “Remember that I signed him! I was impressed, and was checking, watching more videos.
“I spoke to a lot of people, then we signed him for a low fee. I told him then he could be the holding midfielder for England.
“When he was not playing (in the first half of the season), I was a bit disappointed, because I thought he could continue growing.
“In the second part of the season, he has shown he has the potential.
“I will be the first one really pleased if I stay and he stays, but we have to find the solution for everyone.
“He’s a person that obviously has his own issues with family that we know about.
“But football’s not so simple, it’s not a normal job. There are a lot of things you have to analyse. We will try to do the best for him – and the best for us.
“I have a meeting this week, and then we will see.”