As per a report from the Chronicle Live, any potential Manchester United deal for Newcastle youngster Sean Longstaff could depend on Rafael Benitez’s contract negotiations.
Longstaff, a 21-year-old central midfielder, came up through the youth ranks of the Magpies, before a pair of loan spells away from St. James’ Park over the last two seasons eventually saw him break into the club’s first-team ranks this past January.
After a fruitless opening half to the campaign, personnel problems in the middle of the park for Rafael Benitez’s men saw Longstaff handed the opportunity to shine following the turn of the year.
And to say that the youngster took full advantage of his chance would be putting it lightly.
A number of stellar displays, particularly versus the likes of Huddersfield and Burnley towards the end of February, saw Longstaff catch the eye with his calm demeanour, reading of the game and ability to break up play.
The 21-year-old showcased the kind of traits rarely-possessed by a player of such tender years, with his increasingly-prominent role in Newcastle’s midfield ranks having only been cut short by a season-ending knee injury.
Old Trafford bound?
Nevertheless, though, despite having made just 12 appearances this season, the Magpies’ starlet seemingly did enough to pique the interest of one of the Premier League’s heavyweights.
The outfit in question come in the form of Manchester United.
Multiple reports over the last fortnight have suggested that the Red Devils are eyeing Longstaff’s signature this summer:
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 17, 2019
Newcastle, for their part, are said to have slapped a £25 million price-tag on their crown jewel’s head.
As per the aforementioned update from the Chronicle Live this afternoon, though, a spanner in any potential United deal for Longstaff could come in the form of Rafael Benitez’s contract negotiations.
Magpies’ boss Benitez’s current deal is set to expire at the end of next month.
As things stand, the Spanish tactician holds the final say over any and all transfer dealings at St. James’ Park.
As such, according to the Chronicle:
This (transfer control) is tightly written into his contract. This could make life difficult for Man United as they want a quick deal.
Should Benitez stay, and maintain the final say clause in his contract, he is likely to want to hold on to Longstaff – especially if he is uncertain incoming funds won’t come his way.