Newcastle: Eddie Howe now 'wants to keep' £11.7m star at St James' Park

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe looking into the distance

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe definitely wants to keep midfielder Sean Longstaff at the club beyond this season, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

Longstaff was born in the North-East and has come through Newcastle’s academy, but his future on Tyneside is far from certain right now.

What’s the latest news involving Longstaff?

The 24-year-old has featured in 22 league matches this term, but he has only started 13 times, with Howe preferring the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock and Joelinton instead.

Longstaff’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning that Newcastle risk losing him for nothing next month.

Howe has stated that contract talks are progressing well, though, and remains optimistic that a deal will be reached in the near future.

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What has Downie said about Longstaff?

Downie has acknowledged that Longstaff may not be a regular in the starting XI if he does stay next season, but he still believes Howe wants to keep him as he has stepped up and performed well when called upon in recent months.

Talking about the £11.7m-rated midfielder, Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “Eddie Howe has made it clear he wants to sign him. I don’t think in his current guise, and the way he’s playing just now, it would be to be a starter next season. I think he would be an option for them.

“To be fair, he’s come in and he’s played well. He played well against Norwich the other week, arguably man of the match in that game. He didn’t really do so well against Man City on the weekend, but then you’ve got a thankless task up against De Bruyne and Rodri in midfield.”

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Does Longstaff have a future at Newcastle?

It could depend on what Longstaff wants moving forward. Given that he is playing for his boyhood club, it is likely that he will want to remain loyal if possible.

However, he does seem to be a little way down the pecking order when everyone is fit, especially since Newcastle added Bruno Guimaraes to their squad in January.

It would not be a surprise to see them bring in another midfielder this summer, which could harm Longstaff’s chances of getting more game time.

Therefore, if he wants to be playing regularly, giving himself the best opportunity of fulfilling his potential, Longstaff may have to think about moving elsewhere rather than putting pen to paper on a new contract at St James’ Park.

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