Sean Longstaff has been linked with Everton this month
While much of the focus at Newcastle United during the early weeks of the transfer window has understandably been on incomings, there are some potential outgoings that will have to be considered in the coming weeks.
And two players who will no doubt be the subject of plenty of speculation when it comes to a move away from St James’ Park are the Longstaff brothers.
Both Matty and Sean face uncertain futures on Tyneside, with the former having recently returned from a disappointing loan spell at Aberdeen and the latter out of contract in the summer.
So what next for the duo? NewcastleWorld examines some of the potential avenues open to the brothers...
Sean Longstaff’s decision to make
The majority of speculation this month has been focused on the older of the Longstaff brothers, given he is now in the final six months of his deal with Newcastle United.
That means that Longstaff could pen a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club at any point, but thus far the only reported interest has been from the Premier League and Everton.
Rafa Benitez is keen on a reunion with the midfielder and has already been rebuffed once in his attempts to lure Longstaff senior away from the North East.
Eddie Howe’s stance on Sean
Boss Eddie Howe is keen to see Sean remain at St James’ Park for the ‘long-term’, and very much sees him as part of his squad moving forward.
But he has already warned that contract talks are likely to be shelved until the transfer window closes.
“January is very, very intense for everyone connected with the club, and trust me, this has been the most intense January I’ve experienced,” said the Newcastle manager.
“So, in terms of our current players that are out of contract, that may well have to wait until the end of January when we know we’re secure in what we’ve done.
“Sean has a long-term future at this football club. I’ve been impressed with him since I’ve come in. He’s been committed, he’s trained well and he’s earned his place in the team. He got an opportunity against Man United, and I thought he was excellent.
“I thought the team weren’t particularly good against Cambridge , so we’re looking for a response from the team, and Sean is part of that team.”
And what about Matty?
The younger of the Longstaff brothers is currently on the treatment table, having sustained an injury late last year.
That came after an underwhelming loan spell at Aberdeen, where the 21-year-old made just five appearances.
Matty’s contract status is more secure, with the academy graduate having penned a two-year-deal in the summer, but whether he heads back out on loan for the second half of the season remains to be seen.
But Howe is keen to assess the midfielder before any decision over his short-term future is made.
Speaking earlier this month, he said: “Matty Longstaff, I’ve yet to see, so hopefully I’ll make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.”
So for both brothers, it may be something of a waiting game for their futures to be resolved.