By Aramide Oladipo

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that he intends to keep hold of goalkeeper Rob Elliot but he mentioned that back-up choices Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow could both potentially leave the club this summer.

Woodman, 20, is attracting a lot of interest in this transfer window as the Chronicle recently reported that there were four teams in the hunt to sign the youngster on a loan deal.

Darlow, 26, has also been linked with a move away from St James’ Park with the Chronicle claiming that he could be part of exchange deal that would see West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian join the Tyneside club.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Benitez revealed that Elliot will stay at the club but admitted that it will be difficult to keep the other two in the squad ahead of the new season.

“What I have seen from them I decided Rob Elliot is a good option with experience, Karl Darlow knows my idea and he knows we had an offer and considered it,” he said.

“But we needed a keeper with experience and he could still compete with Rob.

“After that we have young Freddie Woodman who has been doing well.

“We know that it will be difficult to keep him without playing him in the first team because he could be number 3.

“He could play in the Under-23s and then later he could go on loan if necessary he could do that.”

The Spaniard also confirmed that goalkeeper Tim Krul has been informed that he is surplus to requirements at the club next season.

The 29-year-old shot-stopper was sent out on loan to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar during the January transfer window where he kept four clean sheets in 22 appearances.

Benitez states: “I told Tim Krul he has to look for another option.

“I told him that before and I have told him one month ago along with his agent.”

Newcastle are set to face Bundesliga outfit Mainz 05 in a pre-season friendly match at the Opel Arena in Germany on Saturday afternoon.

In other Newcastle news, the Magpies have been installed as favourites to sign this 13-time England international.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle breaking news.