Newcastle United remain in contract talks with former Manchester United target

Sean Longstaff’s contract at Newcastle United is on course to expire this summer.

Newcastle United remain in talks with Sean Longstaff over a new contract, Eddie Howe has revealed.

The Geordie midfielder is out-of-contract this summer but Howe has spoken of his desire to keep the 24-year-old at St James’ Park.

That is despite Longstaff starting just three Premier League games since Howe was appointed head coach in November.

“Talks are continuing,” Howe told reporters ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game with Leicester City.

“Certainly, he’s someone I have a lot of respect and time for. He’s improved, even though he hasn’t played and that hasn’t been shown yet to the general public.

“We’ve seen real growth in his training performances. When he has played, I think he’s done very well. He’s someone we like and believe in.

“I see a long-term future for him here, I just hope we can get the contract sorted.”

Contract talks with Longstaff first began following his breakthrough season under Rafa Benitez in 2018/19, which attracted some interest from Manchester United.

However, a new deal has not yet materialised and Longstaff could now just be a few months away from leaving his boyhood club.

Longstaff has a big decision to make with Howe admitting his lack of playing time could be an issue in the future.

“The culture here is building,” Howe added. “I think he sees that he’s been invested in, in terms of other coaches and me.

“We’re really looking into his game and trying to find ways to take it to another level.

“I know there will come a time when he will want or need to play but at the moment, he’s in a good place. He’s supporting the lads in the team and seen the evidence of the team being successful.

“He’s OK at the moment but obviously longer-term that will be an issue if he doesn’t play.”