Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has revealed that Aleksandar Mitrovic's future will be determined at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a sensational spell with loan club Fulham since joining in January; netting seven goals in his eight showings.
The Serbia international was cast aside by his Spanish manager during the winter transfer window, with the Toon's current attacking threat - with the addition of Islam Slimani - seen capable enough for the Magpies to avoid the drop.
But despite speculation regarding the relationship between Benitez and Mitrovic, the St James' Park boss insisted to The Chronicle that he is pleased with how the frontman is performing at Craven Cottage and that no decision has been made regarding his future as of yet.
“There are two ways to analyse this", the former Liverpool and Real Madrid coach said. "One is Mitrovic is scoring goals in the Championship. It’s good news for him and us.
"Two, he is playing before the World Cup and he is our player. We then have to discuss his future in May. In May we will see and if he is doing well, fine no problem.”
Benitez also went on to explain that his reasoning behind Mitrovic's lack of game time this season - with the Serb failing to record a single league start after helping to lead Newcastle back to the top flight - was not personally driven, but other players were merely outperforming him.
“It was because Dwight Gayle did so well and other players had to wait", the Spaniard added.
Fulham fans are keen for their club to secure the frontman on a permanent deal at the end of this term, and with the consensus on Tyneside being the 23-year-old does not possess the essential qualities, their desires could well come to fruition.