Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St. James's Park, Newcastle on Saturday 30th October 2021.  (Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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. 

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Whether Longstaff is the man to help fix Benitez’s stalling engine remains to be seen. 

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?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United shakes hands with Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United following the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

“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.

And, should the likes of Mo Elneny or Aaron Ramsey arrive, he will slip even further down the pecking order. 

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 16: Aaron Ramsey of Wales applauds during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Wales and Belgium at Cardiff City Stadium on November 16, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

The post ‘You never know’: Manager reacts when asked if he’s signing Newcastle ace appeared first on HITC.