Sean Longstaff Says He Was 'Distracted' by Manchester United Transfer Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IISeptember 11, 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

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has said he was "distracted" by speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

The 21-year-old told NUFC TV that he found it difficult to avoid talk of interest from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils (h/t Jack Perry at Sky Sports):

"You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and, maybe for a little bit in the summer, I did. It's hard not to when you go anywhere and you see your face on the front of a newspaper or you turn the telly on and people are talking about you. It's not like they're talking about little things, they're talking about stuff that can change your life, really."

Manchester United failed to land Longstaff and were said to be "stunned" by Newcastle's valuation of £50 million, according to Rob Dawson at ESPN FC.

The midfielder said at the time it was "flattering" to hear of interest from the Red Devils, per the Mirror's Alex Richards.

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol said the Newcastle native wanted to talk to Man United but would not push to leave St James' Park: 

Meanwhile, the Magpies made it clear they did not want to let the talented youngster depart. Owner Mike Ashley told Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail that he was not willing to sell Longstaff.

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

Longstaff was enjoying a breakout season with Newcastle in 2018-19 before his campaign ended prematurely because of a knee injury suffered against West Ham United in March.

Scouted Football offered some analysis of the central midfielder:

Manchester United look in need of midfield reinforcements in the middle after allowing Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera to leave, while Nemanja Matic and Fred have struggled for game time under Solskjaer.

Yet it remains to be seen whether they will return for Longstaff in the future. He has failed to replicate last season's form in the early weeks of the new campaign, according to sports reporter Lee Ryder:

Longstaff will be aiming to get back to his best after a long spell out injured and can now focus on his football with the transfer window closed. Newcastle have shown they are not willing to let him go without a fight and will hope he can help them to keep their place in the Premier League after a turbulent summer.

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