Why this Newcastle United transfer story isn't going to go away easily
This one isn’t going away. Another day, another round of stories linking Sean Longstaff to Manchester United.
The club hasn’t bid for the Newcastle United midfielder, but a number of Manchester-based journalists think it’s only a matter of time before an offer is made for the 21-year-old.
A “flattered” Longstaff brushed off speculation linking him with a move to Old Trafford this month.
“It just shows how far I’ve come,” said Longstaff, who made 11 consecutive starts for Newcastle last season before suffering a knee injury against West Ham United in early March.
“I’m massively flattered to have my name even mentioned in those conversations, but I’m 100% focused on Newcastle and trying to get fit and get back in the team.”
Longstaff, working his way back to fitness on Tyneside ahead of pre-season, isn’t even for sale, but, we know, everyone has his price at St James’s Park, and he could yet have a decision to make this summer.
What Longstaff needs, above all else, is regular football, and he got that at Newcastle last season after breaking into Rafa Benitez’s team. Would he get that at Old Trafford?
Certainly, nothing is likely to happen until Benitez’s future is resolved. Newcastle’s manager is out of contract on June 30 – and he has the final say on any outgoings until then.
Supporters, with good reason, fear that Longstaff will go if Benitez goes. If Benitez stays, then the hope is that he will build a midfield around a gifted, composed and intelligent player.
And it’s not surprising that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is keen on him.