Rafa Benitez issued a coy response when asked if Everton are planning to raid Premier League rivals Newcastle United for Sean Longstaff during the January transfer window, speaking to the Liverpool Echo.
During their 3-2 home defeat to Brighton last time out, a result which sent boos cascading around Goodison Park, Benitez’s two-man midfield was out-fought, out-thought, out-manned and out-played.
Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure spent the afternoon chasing mint-gren shadows.
And it’s wasn’t the first time this season that Everton’s midfield has looked about as off the pace as Steve from your local pub stumbling around a Sunday League pitch after a night of curry sauce and San Miguel.
The 24-year-old played the best football of his young career under the Spaniard at Newcastle, exploding onto the scene during the second half of the 2018/19 before being linked with a £50 million move to Manchester United.
Longstaff’s transfer value has dropped substantially since then.
But not to the extent that Newcastle were tempted to accept Everton’s rather derisory bid of £1 million, even if the one-time Blackpool loanee is entering the final few months of his St James’ Park contract (The Mail).
Will Newcastle sell Sean Longstaff to Everton?
“We are open to good players, who are available, if they can improve the squad,” Benitez said at his Friday press conference when quizzed about Longstaff’s future.
“I’m quite focused on the games, other people are focused on the names. This window is so complicated. You never know.”
According to 90Min, Longstaff would relish the prospect of reuniting with a manager who knows and trusts him in the January window.
The North Shields-born playmaker has struggled for regular game-time since Eddie Howe replaced Steve Bruce at Newcastle.
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