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Sean Longstaff Focused on Newcastle Amid 'Great' Manchester United Links

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United is seen in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Hibernian and Newcastle United at Easter Road on July 30, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Sean Longstaff is flattered to have been linked with the likes of Manchester United this summer but said his focus remains on the upcoming season with Newcastle United. 

Per the Mirror's Alex Richards, Longstaff spoke about the speculation surrounding his future amid rumours he is valued at £50 million, more than twice the £20 million the Red Devils were reportedly going to offer Newcastle to acquire his services. He said:

"Obviously, I'm still young and getting used to all that side of it. There's nothing you can do.

"It's in the hands of other people now. Like I said before, I'm fully focused on being back fit for the start of the Premier League season.

"To have your name mentioned with those top clubs is obviously great, but, for me, it's about working as hard as I can for Newcastle and getting back.

"I'm trying to focus on football. The stuff off the pitch isn't what you play for, you can get too caught up in it."

The 21-year-old only made his Premier League debut for the Magpies on Boxing Day, but he became a bright spark in Newcastle's season.

Longstaff started 11 consecutive matches for Newcastle between January 5 and March 2, including games against Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur before a cruciate ligament injury ended his campaign.

He impressed throughout his time in the side as a composed presence on the ball and a hard worker off it.

According to Sky Sports' Adam Bate, he covered more ground than any other player on the pitch in each of his first five starts.

Scouted Football ran the rule over him:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Longstaff is particularly adept at evading pressure when receiving the ball, but is also a sensible and quick distributor. With every game that goes by he has shown there is more to his game; pinpoint long passing, awareness, tackling and smart reading of the game. He's top. https://t.co/utBeQNb9IH

He can dictate the tempo from deep, but he also looks to get forward. He scored twice and picked up an assist during that run of games, while during a loan spell with Blackpool in the 2017-18 season, he notched nine goals and six assists in 45 appearances.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley does not want to sell him this summer, though, per Chronicle Live's Mark Douglas:

Mark Douglas @MsiDouglas

On Longstaff. "The message we want to put out is that he is not for sale. If you've got one like Sean – keep him."

Given he's played just nine times in the Premier League, the Magpies' valuation of him is enormous.

However, the youngster looks set to become the first academy graduate to secure a significant role in the Newcastle team since Paul Dummett broke through in 2013, and it's clear he has a bright future ahead.

What's more, Newcastle have already lost Rafa Benitez as manager and their two top scorers from last season in Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez.

While they have brought in Joelinton from Hoffenheim, the Brazilian forward is their only senior recruit this summer, and the transfer window closes on Thursday.

If the Magpies are to have any chance of staying up this season, they can't afford to lose any more quality from the side, so it would take an incredible offer from Manchester United for them to part with him.