Wednesday 21 August 2019

Manchester United ready to make formal approach for Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff

Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA
Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

James Ducker

Manchester United are expected to make a first formal approach to Newcastle United for Sean Longstaff this week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to secure another signing before United fly to Australia on Sunday for the start of their pre-season tour of Perth, Singapore and Shanghai after the arrival of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Attention has now turned to negotiating a deal with Newcastle for the £25million-rated midfielder following the £50million capture of right-back Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace and yesterday's formal announcement of Marcus Rashford's new four-year contract.

Solskjaer is also due to hold talks with wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba before United leave. Although the majority of the squad returned to pre-season training yesterday, Pogba is not due to report back until tomorrow after being among players who were granted extra time off owing to last month's international fixtures.

Pogba frustrated Solskjaer by publicly admitting last month that he wanted to leave Old Trafford this summer but, with Real Madrid and Juventus considering United's £160million valuation too high, the France midfielder's prospects of a move are far from certain.


Even if Pogba stays, Solskjaer is understood to want another midfielder in addition to Longstaff. Sporting Lisbon's attacking midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, is thought to be his preference, although United have also looked at Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez.

Another player looking to leave, Romelu Lukaku, was not expected back in training until tomorrow but the Belgium striker took the decision to report in yesterday. Inter Milan are hoping for some encouragement from United this week in their pursuit of Lukaku, who is keen to join.

Meanwhile, Rashford - who said he would like to captain United in the future - has vowed to do everything possible to put the club back on top.

Rashford's heavily incentivised contract will guarantee him around £200,000 a week although if he hits all of his performance triggers that could swell to in excess of £300,000 a week.

"It hurts every day to see where we are now, (compared) to where we've been in the past. I use that pain as motivation," he said. "It makes me more determined to put the club back where they belong.

"There's nothing I want more than to see the club winning the Premier League again, winning the Champions League again. Everybody here deserves much, much more than what we're giving them right now, not only the fans, the club itself." (© The Daily Telegraph)

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