Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has admitted he is “flattered” by recent transfer speculation linking him with a summer move to Manchester United – but has sights set on returning for the Magpies in pre-season.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a promising breakthrough season at St James’ Park and rumours of a move to Old Trafford have been rife.
Could Man Utd sign Longstaff? Five key things to know…
- Longstaff emerged as a key player in Rafa Benitez’s starting XI midway through the season.
- The 21-year-old became a prominent member in the Spaniard’s first team until a knee injury ruled him out of the season in March.
- His midfield exploits have seen him identified as a possible target for Man Utd and likened to Michael Carrick.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bolster his ranks this summer and Longstaff is believed to be among the targets the Norwegian has earmarked.
- Longstaff has now admitted that rumours of a move to the North West have shown how far he has progressed as a player.
Despite suffering a knee injury in March, which kept him out of action for the remainder of the Premier League season, the Newcastle academy graduate has been mooted to be in the frame for a move to the Red Devils.
Solskjaer will be keen to add serious firepower to his midfield with Ander Herrera set to leave and question marks over Paul Pogba’s future, and Longstaff – who has previously been compared to former United midfielder Carrick – has admitted his is flattered by the speculation.
He told NUFC TV: “It just shows how far I’ve come. If someone told us at the start of the season that by the end of it you’d be linked with these teams I’d have laughed at them but it’s nice, it’s flattering.
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“I’m massively flattered to have my name even mentioned in those conversations but like I said, I’m 100 per-cent focused on Newcastle and trying to get fit and get back in the team here.
“For me it’s nice to be have said about you and be linked with top clubs but for me, this is what I’ve always wanted to do.
“I’ve always wanted to play for Newcastle and I’ve only had a little taste of that so for me, it’s about getting fit as soon as I can and getting back on the pitch for Newcastle and making more memories of the future.”
Martin Keown on Sean Longstaff: "It's like a Michael Carrick performance.
"Everyone is talking about Declan Rice, I think this kid might be better. He looks technically better." pic.twitter.com/wQlNmVsEL4
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 26, 2019
Longstaff hoping to return for pre-season
A date is yet to be set for Longstaff’s return from injury, and while the 21-year-old says there is “no rush” to return to the pitch, he is hoping to make a comeback in time to take part in the Magpies’ pre-season regime.
He said: “We’ve got rough estimates but it just depends how the knee reacts to certain stuff we do.
“When you put certain loads on it or sprinting, there’s no specific times on it.
“Pre-season would be the ideal time but if it’s longer, it is what it is. There’s no rush, if it takes an extra two or three weeks, in the grand scheme of things it’s not that long.”