Newcastle United wait on Sean Longstaff bid as Steve Nickson takes charge of transfers

Newcastle United expect Manchester United to bid for Sean Longstaff before the managerless club heads to China.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 06:00 am
Sean Longstaff.

Longstaff broke into Rafa Benitez’s first team last season after spending a season on loan at Blackpool. The 21-year-old made 11 successive starts before succumbing to injury in March.

Now fully fit, Longstaff is preparing for the new season with his team-mates, who returned to pre-season training late last week ahead of the club’s Premier League Asia Trophy fixtures in Nanjing and Shanghai. The squad will head out to China next weekend.

Longstaff, according to one report, was left “bitterly upset” by the departure of Benitez last month.

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However, the Newcastle-born player said last month that he was “100% focused” on his club – and Longstaff is not understood to be pushing to leave his boyhood club.

Asked about speculation linking him with Man United, Longstaff said: “It just shows how far I’ve come. 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 here.”

Man United are expected to finally firm up their interest in Longstaff over the coming days after signing Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

Newcastle’s transfer business is being handled by Steve Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment, following the departure of Benitez, who has since taken over at Dalian Yifang.

Benitez had the final say on any deal, and his successor could have far less influence on incoming and outgoing transfers.

The club's position last month, when Benitez was still manager, was that Longstaff was not for sale. A £50million price tag for Longstaff has been reported, and it is not clear whether Man United will make an offer would be acceptable to the club, which last week sold Ayoze Perez to Leicester City for £30million.

Longstaff signed a new deal late last year keeping him at the club until 2022.

There was talk of a new deal after he suffered knee ligament damage against West Ham United, but the club didn’t improve his contract after his run of games in the Premier League.