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Man Utd transfer news: Newcastle midfield ‘happy’ after Red Devils deal broke down

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2023/24

Sean Longstaff has admitted that he is glad he opted not to sign for Manchester United and remain at Newcastle instead.

The Geordie was linked with a move to Old Trafford five years ago but the Red Devils opted not to make a move owing to the Magpies’ €57million asking price.

Interest and speculation grew after Longstaff’s breakthrough season under Rafa Benitez, where he made 11 starts consecutively.

He was ruled out for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign after sustaining a knee injury before being linked with a move to Man Utd, though no deal materialised and he penned a new three-year deal with Newcastle in 2022.

Longstaff led his side out as Newcastle captain in November and he has opened up to the Chronicle, saying that he has no regrets over staying with his boyhood club.

“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I felt the same that night [captaining Newcastle], walking out and looking around,” Longstaff explained. “If that move had happened, I’d never have been about for the Newcastle takeover and I’d never have been able to captain the club. There are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do.

How close was Sean Longstaff to joining Man Utd?

Sean Longstaff captained his boyhood club this season
© IMAGO – Sean Longstaff captained his boyhood club this season

“I’m happy it didn’t happen in the end, because what I’ve gone on to achieve over the last two years – scoring in a League Cup semi-final, getting to play in a cup final, playing in the Champions League – have been things I never thought would happen, playing for Newcastle.

He said: “When the Manchester United stuff came around, I was still still so young. I’d probably deal with it differently now and not allow myself to get caught up in every little thing going on with it. I was coming back from my knee injury at the time, trying to get fit to prove I could still play. People are talking about you and have built you up so much that the perception is ‘Now you’re like Lionel Messi’. Everyone was expecting too much.

“Meanwhile, I was in the gym thinking ‘I can’t even do one leg squat’. There was so much going on, but none of the Manchester United stuff came to fruition and I seemed to go from up here to down there.”

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