EDDIE HOWE has admitted that Freddie Woodman’s Newcastle United future is uncertain in the wake of an unsuccessful loan spell at Bournemouth.

Woodman joined the Cherries on loan in January, in the hope of playing a pivotal role in Scott Parker’s side’s push for promotion in the second half of the season.

However, with Bournemouth’s other goalkeeper, Mark Travers, producing a series of impressive displays, the Magpies shot-stopper was restricted to just a solitary appearance in the FA Cup as his temporary employers were knocked out by non-league Boreham Wood.

Having turned 25 in March, Woodman’s career is approaching a critical phase, and while he is contracted to Newcastle for another season, there is a good chance the Magpies could listen to offers for his services this summer.

Woodman started the season as Newcastle’s number one in the absence of both Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow, but found himself demoted to the bench after the first four games of the campaign and dropped out of the squad entirely when Dubravka returned in late autumn.

Eddie Howe regards the former England Under-21 international as an extremely talented performer, but intends to sit down with him later this summer to discuss future plans.

“Goalkeeper is the hardest position in the sense that Freddie went on loan, but I know Mark Travers very well, and he’s an outstanding goalkeeper,” said Howe. “His game probably kicked on to another level from having Freddie behind him, so it was difficult for Freddie to get any game time, which was obviously a disappointment for us and for him.

“He’s an outstanding young goalkeeper. We’ll be sitting down with Freddie to discuss what his next step is. But at this moment in time, it’s difficult to say.”

While there has been an inevitable focus on potential incomings in the last few days, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin having emerged as an attacking alternative to Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, much of Howe’s time in the next few weeks will be spent on putting plans into place to move players out of St James’ Park.

Howe had to leave three players out of his 25-man squad in January – Jamal Lewis, Ciaran Clark and Isaac Hayden – and if he is to create space for new additions this summer, he will have to engineer the exit of at least seven or eight first-team players.

The head coach accepts that will not be easy, and insists he is yet to make a final decision on any of his fringe performers.

“There’s some difficult decisions to be made, and when you look at the numbers in the squad, we are top heavy,” he said. “We do have a lot of players, there are players that missed out on the 25.

“But as I’ve said before, when we make decisions on every individual, we try to do it in the right way. No decisions have been made as yet. For me, towards the end of the season, you get the games out of the way, then I’ll be speaking with the players.”