MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 11:10:50

Isaac Hayden still determined to leave Newcastle

Isaac Hayden still determined to leave Newcastle
© Reuters
The 23-year-old midfielder wanted to move during the summer.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has been handed yet another transfer window problem with Isaac Hayden still keen to leave the club.

The 23-year-old former Arsenal midfielder played in Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat by Manchester United at St James' Park.

That was his third successive start with Jonjo Shelvey working his way back to full match fitness after injury and South Korea international Ki Sung-yueng on international duty at the Asian Cup.

However Hayden, who handed in a transfer request during the summer for family reasons, has revealed he still wants to go and is hopeful of getting his wish this month.

He said: "It's unchanged and the club have known that from day one. It wasn't going to change. My family, my partner and daughter will always come first. Football is football, but family is more important.

"The club have had conversations already. Hopefully a solution can be found. It wasn't in the summer, but I was professional and got on with the job I have to do."

Hayden's admission comes with Benitez once again keeping his fingers crossed that owner Mike Ashley will sanction the acquisitions he believes he needs to keep the club in the Premier League for another season.

The Spaniard has decided not to talk about the transfer window having spent much of his time on Tyneside pleading both in public and behind closed doors for investment, too often to little effect.

However, fans groups the Newcastle United Supporters' Trust, the Magpie Group, Newcastle Fan TV, #IfRafaGoesWeGo, the London Magpie Group and Newcastle Legends, as well as The Mag and True Faith fanzines, co-signed an open letter to the Sports Direct tycoon on Thursday urging him to support the manager over a crucial few weeks.

In it, they said: "If you refuse to spend money this month, the risk of relegation not only increases, it will also mean the manager will not sign the new contract you have offered to him.

"You have repeatedly said that you want Benitez to stay, so do the things needed to make sure that happens. In short, back him and give him what he needs in this window.

"We firmly believe that keeping Benitez is the best chance this football club has of improving and growing over the next few years."

Just as it was 12 months ago, the situation is complicated by the prospect of a takeover with four groups currently attempting to put together a package to buy Ashley out.

Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners were unable to make tangible progress this time last year and no group appears close to doing so this time around.

Press Association Sport understands that Benitez may get at least some of what he wants – he landed Martin Dubravka, Kenedy and Islam Slimani on loan during the last winter window – but that could have a knock-on effect in terms of price for any prospective buyer.

In the meantime, Benitez, whose own contract is due to expire at the end of the campaign, will hope for improved fortunes after an eighth home league defeat of the season left the club just two points clear of the drop zone.

The Magpies performed admirably for long periods against Manchester United on Wednesday, but were ultimately undone by an uncharacteristic error from Dubravka which allowed substitute Romelu Lukaku to give the visitors a lead which was doubled by Marcus Rashford.

Hayden said: "It's the little details that make the difference. Manchester United did well with those small details and we didn't.

"That's the difference against the world-class teams. They have players that can make the difference."

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