SEAN LONGSTAFF is the latest youngster on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s radar as the Manchester United continues his raid on homegrown talent.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka will become the club’s second signing of the summer when his £50million move from Crystal Palace is completed, following £15m winger Dan James through the door.
At 21, Longstaff made his Premier League breakthrough towards the end of last season and only had time for nine league appearances.
Rafa Benitez rated the midfielder highly and handed him a four-year contract extension in November, but the Spaniard will leave the club this summer.
According to BBC Sport, Longstaff may also be off if United make good on their interest.
The Newcastle-born player’s arrival in the team coincided with their push clear from the relegation battle.
With Longstaff at the heart of the midfield, the Magpies averaged 1.44 points per game, significantly better than Fred’s measly 1.11 points earned every time he stepped onto the pitch.
And the youngster stands above the majority of his prospective United rivals in the defensive department too, winning 76 percent of his tackles compared to Nemanja Matic’s 60 percent and Fred’s 59 percent.
When compared to the duo, plus Scott McTominay and the outgoing Ander Herrera, Longstaff has the weakest passing rate with 80.9 percent of his balls reaching their man.
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But these stats came from just nine outings before his season came to a premature end in early March because of a knee injury.
When asked about the United interest earlier in the month, Longstaff noted: “It just shows how far I’ve come.
“If someone told us at the start of the season that by the end of it you’d be linked with these teams I’d have laughed at them but it’s nice, it’s flattering.”