The mixed messages inside and outside Newcastle United amid Matty Longstaff contract talks

The summer transfer window is months away from opening, but a familiar name has already been linked with Newcastle United.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 10:28 am
Updated Sunday, 23rd February 2020, 1:10 pm
Matty and Sean Longstaff.

Boubakary Soumare turned Newcastle United down last month after Lille accepted a £35million offer,

”We had a bid accepted by a club,” said Steve Bruce. “Unfortunately, the player wanted to stay where he was, which was a big disappointment as he was our No.1 target.”

Sources at the club indicated at the time that a second move for the midfielder – who had wanted to keep his “options open”, according to head coach Bruce – was not on the agenda.

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Boubakary Soumare.

However, a report from France this claimed that Newcastle are still trying to “convince” Soumare to move to St James’s Park. It’s claimed that the club has offered to double his salary and guarantee him playing time.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier, meanwhile, recently spoke about “tension” between the club and Soumare, who hasn’t featured since the transfer window closed.

Soumare is expected to return against Toulouse today following talks with Lille.

Newcastle, reluctant to return for a player who had rejected them, were minded to move on to other targets once the window closed. They also felt that there would be other clubs in for Soumare, linked with Liverpool and Manchester United, in the summer.

But never say never. Things can change, and a summer bid can’t entirely be discounted.

Of course, the latest claim from France of a double-your-money contract and guaranteed games for Soumare comes as talks between midfielders Sean and Matty Longstaff over new deals remain deadlocked.

The pair, understandably, are seeking contracts which reflect their status as first-team players.

United’s original move for Soumare – who Le 10 Sport claim has now been offered a salary in excess of £1.6million after tax by Newcastle – was curious given the need for a striker in the January window – and also the emergence of the Longstaff brothers over the past 12 months.

And any guarantees of playing time for Soumare, a powerful, dynamic player who Bruce and his staff are convinced is perfect for Premier League football, would have an impact on their development.