'Wow' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to potential six-figure exit report at Newcastle

Noel Whelan says that Newcastle United “cannot afford” to let youngster Matty Longstaff go for a nominal compensation fee next summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds United striker says that the 19-year-old holds the cards over his future at St James’ Park, with his contract set to expire next summer.

With Longstaff still yet to put pen to paper on new terms, The Chronicle have reported that the Magpies could pick up just £400,000 in compensation should he move on in 2020.

Whelan says that the Magpies have got to make Longstaff an offer he cannot refuse to keep him on Tyneside, suggesting that the promise of first-team football will play an important role in the midfielder’s decision.

Whelan told Football Insider: “£400,000 for a young player of that ability, wow, no team can afford to lose people like that.

“That’s nothing, is it? It’s absolutely nothing, but look, the power is with the player right now, he holds the cards and Newcastle need to realise that.

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“Either put something on the table for him that he can’t say no to or he’s doing something for himself. Now, for me as a player, I think right now, maybe, just maybe, he needs more regular first-team football. It might be a team that comes up from the Championship this year on a pre-contract signing.

Longstaff has played five times for Newcastle’s first-team since breaking through the youth ranks, scoring against Manchester United both home and away.

He has joined older brother Sean in the senior setup, the duo starting alongside each other for Matty’s debut back in October.

In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has been left lauding a senior star who has “earned his stripes”.