Eddie Howe makes decision on Everton target as Newcastle United address contractual issue
Eddie Howe has made a decision on Sean Longstaff’s Newcastle United future.
Longstaff is out of contract at the end of the season. The Gazette revealed earlier this month that Newcastle had rejected a bid from Everton for the midfielder – and that it was the relegation-threatened club's intention to secure him on a new deal.
And Howe, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League home game against Watford, has confirmed United’s intention to agree a new contract with the 24-year-old, who broke into the first-team during Rafa Benitez’s time at the club.
"January is very, very intense for everyone connected with the club,” said head coach Howe, who is looking for a response to last weekend’s FA Cup defeat to Cambridge United.
“Trust me, I think this has been the most intense January that I've experienced.
"In terms of our current players that are out of contract, they may well have to wait towards the end of January.
"Sean has a long-term future at this football club. I've been impressed with him since I come in. He's been committed, trained well and earned his place in the team.
"Against Manchester United, I thought he was excellent. The whole team weren't particularly good against Cambridge. We're looking for a response from the team, and Sean is part of that team."
Longstaff – who was the subject of interest from Manchester United in 2019 – had a two-month spell out of Steve Bruce’s team last season.
Speaking last April after returning to the fold, Longstaff said: "To not be involved for so long was really frustrating.
“Obviously, I have my own views on it, and whether I feel it was right or wrong, (but) it doesn’t really matter. I don’t make the final decision on it. All you can do is keep yourself ready.
"I know that in the two months between starts, I trained really well – probably the best I've trained in the last two years, I would say."
Longstaff was part of the team which helped the club stay up with a strong run in the final two months of last season.