Midfielder Matty Longstaff looks likely to depart Newcastle United as a free agent this summer, after contract negotiations between his representatives and the club stalled.
Having burst onto the scene when he scored on his Premier League debut in a 1-0 win over Manchester United, the 20-year-old has emerged as a potential next homegrown hero. However, Longstaff has only played a further six league games.
The midfield terrier is yet to sign a contract extension to stay at St James’ Park, which has sparked interest from fellow top-flight clubs Arsenal, Everton and West Ham, as well as from abroad, with Serie A giants Inter said to be monitoring the situation too.
And now The Athletic claims that ‘little-to-no progress’ has since been made on an extension for Longstaff, as talks have yet to be resumed. While the club are understandably keen to keep him at the club, his representatives are said to be dissatisfied with the offered wage increase given his status as an England Under-20 international.
The club will only be compensated with £400,000 should the player depart in the summer, which is close to nothing for a player who has shown to have huge potential in his little game time.
And to make it worse for the Magpies, agents and recruitment officials have told the outlet that those set to become free agents this summer will become ‘more attractive’ to clubs than usual, given that clubs are currently in a precarious financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
One Premier League recruitment director told The Athletic: “Free transfers will be so much more in demand. In a normal season, you will fight five clubs for a free transfer but, this summer, it might be 10 clubs for the same player. It will be ferocious.”
It’s further claimed that Inter, Marseille, and an anonymous Bundesliga club have expressed interest in signing Longstaff, while another Italian top-flight side have begun discussions with the representatives of the England Under-20 international, who can sign a pre-contract agreement that would set up a potential move on 1 July.
The midfielder has struggled for game time of late, with the recent loan addition of Nabil Bentaleb in January meaning more minutes have been taken away from the Englishman. Steve Bruce is also rumoured to be planning on returning with another bid for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumaré, having coming close to signing him in January.