ISAAC HAYDEN remains keen to leave Newcastle United – and is hoping a departure can be finalised before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Hayden submitted a formal transfer request in an attempt to force through a move in the summer, citing personal reasons as the motivation for his desire to leave Tyneside. The midfielder’s young daughter has relocated to the South-West with his partner, and Hayden is desperate to move closer to his family.

Brighton made an approach before the start of the season, but Rafael Benitez rebuffed their interest and insisted Hayden remained with the Magpies. His decision looked somewhat misguided when the midfielder was sent off on his seasonal debut at Cardiff City, but Hayden has returned to the first-team fold and started Newcastle’s last three games.

With Ki Sung-yueng set to miss the whole of January as he represents South Korea at the Asian Cup, Benitez will be extremely reluctant to lose Hayden this month. However, the 23-year-old’s personal situation has not changed, and he remains as determined as ever to move on.

“It’s a difficult situation,” said Hayden, who is contracted to Newcastle until the summer of 2021. “The club know my feelings on it. I’ve just tried to be as professional as I can. Since the summer, I’ve tried to do my job as well as I can. The manager has been happy with that, and the January window is open now so we’ll see what happens this month.

“Nothing has changed. The club have known the situation from day one, and it’s not going to change. It’s not a football decision for me, it’s purely for family reasons and my daughter will always come first for me, above any football. What’s best for her is my priority.

“It’s been a difficult six months for myself, but the club have known from the start what it’s been like. I’ve spoken to the manager and he knows what the situation is. It’s just one of those things where hopefully in January some sort of solution can be made.”

Despite his personal issues, Hayden has maintained a professional approach, and while he understands that Newcastle supporters might not have much sympathy for his position, he is adamant he will not let the club down if he is called upon.

“I’ve always been professional,” he said. “The manager’s not had a bad word to say about me in terms of my attitude in training or when I’ve come on. My stats have been good whenever I’ve played.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s obviously been difficult. The fans will have their own opinions, which I fully appreciate. I’m not going to be their favourite player, I knew that after the sending off (at Cardiff).

“From that moment on, I’ve just tried to crack on. The manager will say the same thing, and I don’t think the staff have had any problems. I’m here to do my job. It’s been difficult, but hopefully the club have known for six months what the situation is and they’ve continually said there have been a few conversations already.

“We’ll just see what happens over the next few weeks. As far as I’m concerned, I just get on with my job in training, and whenever I’m called upon, I try my best. That’s all I can do really.”

August’s dismissal at the Cardiff City Stadium marked a low point in Hayden’s campaign, but while it was generally assumed that his reckless tackle on Jacob Murphy was a result of his anguished mental state, there is an alternative explanation for the sudden rush of blood.

“That was one of those things where Murphy was taking the p*ss,” he explained. “To be honest, I wanted to give him one, but I gave him a little bit too hard a one and got sent off, and it made me look a little bit worse than it was.”