Sean Longstaff has an uncertain future at Newcastle United as he’s out of contract this summer and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. Luke Edwards of the Telegraph says Longstaff isn’t happy with a lack of playing time this season, so he may not extend his stay at St James’ Park until he receives assurances over his role next season.

Newcastle are expected to bolster most areas of the squad this summer following their takeover by Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, so the midfield could be upgraded also, but they won’t overhaul the entire squad immediately. Longstaff is a player worth keeping as he’s got more years ahead of him than Jonjo Shelvey (aged 30) and Jeff Hendrick (aged 30).

The £11.7m-rated player has made 93 appearances in all competitions since making his debut in 2018/19, scoring five goals with five assists. Longstaff has featured in 24 games across the board this season, but he’s started only 13 Premier League games from a possible 36.

Shelvey, Bruno Guimaraes and Joe Willock are ahead of Longstaff in the pecking order, but Eddie Howe needs to retain homegrown talent that are useful in the squad. The 24-year-old has averaged a tackle (45) or interception (9) every 24 minutes while boasting a 54% dribble success rate, so he’s a good ball-winner who can drive from deep.

Longstaff was once being compared to Michael Carrick, but now he’s close to the exit door. Howe does want to keep him, offering a four-year deal to stay, so he recognises how important it is to have defensive-minded players in the squad to protect the backline.

In other news, Newcastle could miss out on £9m for Dwight Gayle