Noel Whelan has given his reaction to the latest Newcastle United exit rumour involving Sean Longstaff.
The Lowdown: Longstaff exit?
According to The Daily Mail, the St James’ Park club are asking for a transfer fee of £10m in order to sell the 23-year-old before the summer window closes, with both Everton and Southampton reportedly interested in his signature.
Should Newcastle sell Longstaff?
Rafa Benitez is interested in taking Longstaff to Goodison Park, while the Saints are also keen on him, although Ralph Hasenhuttl reportedly wants to prioritise other areas of his squad first of all.
The Latest: Whelan on Longstaff
Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds and Coventry player Whelan said that he can understand why Newcastle would be willing to sell Longstaff, although he claimed that it would not be a sale which would please the Toon Army. He stated:
“I think this comes down to where the club’s at in terms of ownership and how they do business now.
“I think that’s one thing that frustrates Newcastle fans. These players they want to buy and bring into the club, they can’t.
“With a new consortium, they could go out there and have the pickings of players and keep their homegrown talent.
“Also, develop a huge squad that needs to compete in the Premier League. We know how big a squad you need these days.
“It’s a level of frustration but, then again, it’ll be one of understanding, I would expect, on the player’s part that he feels he needs to move.
“Things aren’t in great shape at Newcastle in terms of ownership and money spending. I think Bruce knows that. That £10million that comes is going to be well needed.
“It certainly won’t go down well with the fans that they’re selling an up and coming, promising young homegrown player to another club. I don’t know any clubs that would enjoy that.”
The Verdict: Sell
Even though some Newcastle fans may not be happy with selling a local boy in Longstaff, to get £10m for a player who only has a year left on his current contract would be good business.
With Joe Willock arriving on a permanent deal from Arsenal earlier this month, the 23-year-old may find his game-time more limited under Steve Bruce, so he should look for a move away if this is the case. Longstaff started just 15 league games last season and didn’t get into the first XI for their opening two games of the current campaign (WhoScored).
Selling to a direct rival in the Premier League would not be ideal, but the money acquired from his sale could then be used to reinvest in other areas of the squad at St James’ Park.
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