Second-tier outfits Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest are leading other teams in the running for Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff, as per the Northern Echo.
After failing to kick on at St James’ Park last season, Magpies manager Steve Bruce is eager to see the 21-year-old play more regularly out on loan, with newly-promoted Premier League side Norwich City and recently-relegated West Bromwich Albion expressing their interest in a potential deal back in June.
Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town have also made enquiries about a possible loan deal – but the Northern Echo are reporting fellow Championship duo Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest are the only teams to have launched official offers for the midfielder thus far.
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After seeing James Garner return to Manchester United on the expiration of his loan in the summer, Chris Hughton’s Forest could be eager to bring in another central player with previous outcast Fouad Bachirou securing his permanent move to Cyprus.
Sheffield United are also looking light in midfield after John Lundstram opted not to renew his deal at Bramall Lane – and left the club for free last month before linking up with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
For Longstaff, getting regular minutes has to be the priority after only making senior five appearances at Newcastle United last season, even dropping back down to the Under-23s in October and March to play with the youngsters.
Surprisingly, both the Blades and the East Midlands side have struggled to get going in the Championship this season, winning just one point from a possible 12 between them despite being expected to compete at the top end of the league this season.
Which move would suit him best depends on the amount of playing time he would get. That’s why Sander Berge’s situation at Bramall Lane is so important.
If he stays, it would be hard to see Longstaff get past the trusted trio of the Norwegian, John Fleck and Oliver Norwood in the Blades’ midfield. Gaining experience under a promotion-winning manager like Slavisa Jokanovic will be valuable – but it would be partially futile if he only plays a big part in a limited number of games.
At Forest meanwhile, manager Chris Hughton has been criticised for persisting with the partnership of Jack Colback and Ryan Yates in the heart of midfield and this could open up a starting spot for Longstaff – exactly what he needs.
Because of this, the East Midlands club may value him more as a defensive shield in front of what has been a leaky Forest backline so far this season – and this is why he should opt to join them instead of going to South Yorkshire if Berge fails to move on this summer.