What's the latest Everton transfer news?
While it's been a relatively understated window for Everton after last summer's ambitious recruitment drive, Benitez does appear to be making astute additions.
The £1.5m signing of Demarai Gray already looks like a success given the winger has scored twice in his opening three games for the club while fellow addition Andros Townsend has managed to record an assist.
Longstaff, as a relatively young but experienced player to have worked under Benitez before, would fit a similar profile of signing. Indeed, the 23-year-old broke through when working with the Spaniard on Tyneside in 2019 and initially drew comparisons to Michael Carrick thanks to his assured performances in defensive midfield.
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His progress has since stalled, although the Goodison Park chief is understood to remain an admirer and is aware of Longstaff's contractual status. According to the report, the midfielder could be sold today.
How likely is a deal before the deadline?
Given Longstaff is out of contract in the summer of 2022 and there has been little development on a new deal, Newcastle don't exactly look to be in a strong position when it comes to negotiating with interested parties.
Everton, along with any other potential suitor, could of course wait until his contract expires but it would appear as if Longstaff is within their reach should they make a bid, particularly considering Newcastle reportedly must sell before they can further strengthen.
What has happened to Sean Longstaff?
In 2019, Manchester United were reportedly quoted a £50m price tag after his impressive breakthrough although, clearly, his progress has stalled.
Back in November, The Independent claimed there was a feeling that the lack of modern coaching at Newcastle United was part of the reason a developing young player such as Longstaff had struggled to match his early promise.
Benitez, having worked him before, may be able to get more out of the midfielder after a difficult period for the player.
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