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'Not for sale!' - Man Utd warned off Longstaff as Bruce and Newcastle hold firm

12:13 GMT+3 28/07/2019
Sean Longstaff Newcastle 2019-20
The 21-year-old has emerged as a target for the Old Trafford outfit as they aim to bolster their midfield before the start of the new season

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has reiterated that midfielder Sean Longstaff will not be sold this summer amid interest from Manchester United.

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the 21-year-old this summer after he made an strong impression having broken into the Newcastle first team last season.

Longstaff made just nine Premier League appearances before a knee injury cut his season short in March, but he showed enough to tempt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer into potentially bringing him to Old Trafford.

But Bruce, who earlier this week admitted his desire to keep Longstaff at St James' Park, has doubled down in his insistence that the Magpies' academy graduate will not be let go.

"You never want to lose your best young players, and I think we’ve made it pretty evident that we won’t," Bruce told reporters following his side's pre-season clash with Preston North End on Saturday.

"We’re concentrating on Sean now, getting his knee right. It’s his 10th or 11th training session since he hurt his knee.

"I’ll just repeat what the owner [Mike Ashley] said – he’s not for sale."

Longstaff has been targeted by United amid a summer transfer window that has seen Solskjaer attempt to bring in young British talent rather than spend big on proven players from abroad as previous managers have done.

Daniel James has impressed in pre-season following his arrival from Swansea City while Aaron Wan-Bissaka will have to justify the £50 million ($63m) fee that the Red Devils paid to sign him from Crystal Palace.

United are still battling to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City, with the Foxes reportedly holding out for a fee in the region of £80m ($99m) for the England international centre-back.

And having previously been linked with West Ham's Declan Rice, their pursuit of Longstaff suggests that Solskjaer is keen to bolster his midfield ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.

Having finished sixth last term, United kick-off the new campaign against Chelsea on August 11.

Newcastle, meanwhile, get their own season under way on the same day as they host Arsenal on Tyneside.