'Concern' for Newcastle as Man Utd target Longstaff locked in contract dispute

Matthew Longstaff Sean Longstaff Newcastle United
The midfielder - and his younger brother - remain in talks over new deals but have yet to reach an agreement

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce admits he is growing increasingly concerned about the futures of Sean and Matty Longstaff, with the brothers yet to commit their long-term future to the north-east club.

Sean Longstaff, who was a transfer target for Manchester United over the summer, has two-and-a-half years left on his current deal while younger brother Matty is out of contract at the end of the season.

Both players have been in talks with the club over new deals but have yet to reach an agreement.

When asked about the future of the midfield duo, Bruce told a news conference: “Look, we always want to keep your best young players, especially if they’re Geordies, of course. Let’s hope they both get tied up.”

The Magpies boss admitted the future of Matty Longstaff is of particular concern, given he is now into the last six months of his current deal.

“It’s a concern for us all, of course it is. I hope we can get that tied up, I really do,” added Bruce.

“But, they’ve got the power these days, the players. We see it often now with young players as well. I hope there’s a bit of common sense.

“There’s nobody, at 19, played more games than him. He’s got an opportunity.”

Sean Longstaff, 22, has established himself as a first-team regular in the heart of the Magpies midfield since making his debut at the start of the 2017-18 season.

Young brother Matty, 19, burst onto the scene in October last year when he scored the winner on his Premier League debut against Manchester United at St James’ Park.

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The academy graduates have made 32 appearances between them so far this season, with the Magpies defying pre-season predictions of a battle against relegation to sit 12th in the table, seven points clear of the bottom three.

They are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions since a 3-0 defeat at home to Leicester on New Year’s Day.

They take on League One side Oxford United in an FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday, with Bruce confirming both Longstaff brothers will start the game at the Kassam Stadium.