Longstaff must be worried as Newcastle consider move for Lille ace Sanches

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Sean Longstaff must be worried about his future at St James’ Park, with Newcastle United now looking closely at a possible summer transfer for LOSC Lille star Renato Sanches.

It’s according to But! Football Club, who report that Eddie Howe is starting to think more about Sanches for his rebuild. The gaffer is keen to continue to strengthen his ranks at Tyneside after successful sales in January, with a central midfielder on his shopping list.

Howe admires Seko Fofana of RC Lens as the Ivory Coast international has scored nine goals in 33 games. He also has an assist in all competitions as captain of Franck Haise’s side at the Estadio Bollaert-Delelis. But the 26-year-old’s influence has dwindled considerably this year.

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So, Newcastle are taking a closer look at Sanches’ situation as his planned move to AC Milan from Lille comes to a halt. Obstacles continually arise in the Serie A side’s pursuit of the 24-year-old, who has struck at home once but has provided five assists in 26 games this season.

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Sanches is the Rossoneri’s top target and they have a tentative deal with Les Dogues for his services. But they consider the salary that the Portuguese’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is asking for is excessive, especially considering his past injuries. Still, Sanches has several alternative suitors.

Roma and Juventus could also offer the midfielder a route to Italy at the end of the season. Arsenal, Liverpool and now Newcastle are also considering offering Sanches another chance in the Premier League following the Lille star’s difficult loan move to Swansea in 2017/18.

Sean Longstaff must be worried as Newcastle consider move for Lille ace Renato Sanches

Sanches is far from the same prospect who struggled in South Wales on loan from Bayern Munich four years ago. Yet, with his contract at Stade Pierre Mauroy expiring next year, AC Milan are confident they can secure his transfer for just £15m this summer.

Howe could jump at the chance to sign Sanches – whom Jermaine Jenas described as “great” on BBC One (21:49, 23/06/21) during Euro 2020 – for that. But the boss who is pursuing the transfer of Sanches from Lille should leave Longstaff fearful for his future with Newcastle beyond the season.

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Longstaff – who Howe described as “excellent” – ran out of contract in June and has played just eight of a possible 19 Premier League games for the boss. He has also started just three, including one in the club’s last 11 games. Of those 11, he spent six as an unused substitute.

Talks are ongoing on a potential new deal for the academy’s product. The Times reported in March that Howe and senior Newcastle officials were keen to give Longstaff a new contract. But they have yet to agree new terms for the £25,000-a-week ace and now want Sanches.

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