Newcastle United's resolve set to be tested as Premier League giants eye January move for key man

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is set to be handed a January warchest – and that could see him turn his attentions back to Sean Longstaff.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 6:19 pm
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Patrice Evra, Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman of Manchester United with David Gill before the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 20, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Magpies knocked back a string of bids from Old Trafford – the highest of which was in the region of £30million plus clauses totalling around £5million.

United are thought to value the 22-year-old at £50million and will prove reluctant sellers of their bright academy product, who has established himself as a first-team regular under Rafa Benitez and now Steve Bruce.

But the Manchester Evening News claim Solskjaer will again test Newcastle’s resolve when the winter window opens in January.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Manager of Manchester United shakes hands with Paul Pogba of Manchester United following their side's loss during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Cardiff City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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The report states: “Manchester United could allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to move for a midfielder in the January transfer window.

“United missed out on a midfield addition in the summer amid interest in Newcastle youngster Sean Longstaff but the MEN understands the United board could make funds available for a mid-season reinforcement.

“Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward met earlier this month to discuss prospective targets for next year, having also ended the summer devoid of a new forward to offset the departure of Romelu Lukaku.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United runs away from Danny Rose of Spurs during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 25, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

United obtained £73million from Inter Milan for Lukaku on the eve of the Premier League transfer deadline and finished the European window with a net spend of £60.4m. The Lukaku fee could underpin any winter investment United choose to make.

“Newcastle demanded £50m for Longstaff, 21, when Woodward approached the Magpies in early July. The MEN revealed United had 'a few' preferred targets ahead of Longstaff and they retain an interest in West Ham's England international Declan Rice. A January move for Longstaff or Rice, contracted to West Ham until 2024, is highly unlikely.”

Longstaff has made a total of 17 appearances for the Magpies this season and last. In that time he has scored two goals – against Burnley in the top flight and Blackburn in the FA Cup.

He has started all four of United’s Premier League games this season against Arsenal, Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford.