Pundit Exclusive: Newcastle in 'crucial' talks with free agent
Danny Mills has welcomed the news that Newcastle United have reportedly revived contract talks with Matty Longstaff.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England international argued that the 20-year-old is an “asset” for Steve Bruce’s men, as well as claiming that it is “crucial” the Magpies don’t lose talent unnecessarily this summer.
The Chronicle reported earlier in the week that the Toon Army are still hopeful of persuading the young midfielder to stay on Tyneside after his contract at St. James’ Park expired at the end of July.
That means Longstaff is now a free agent, but he has yet to take up any offers from potential suitors, with Serie A club Udinese reportedly keen to snap him up.
And with Newcastle still eager to keep him at the club, Mills is hopeful that a deal can be struck.
When asked whether retaining Longstaff’s services would be a good deal for the Magpies during an interview with Football Insider, he said: “I think it would be because he’s an asset, it’s as simple as that.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“Obviously, once you’ve tied him down, if anybody wants him you’re then looking at bigger transfer fees. They’d be well-advised to weight a contract heavily in terms of appearances and how well he plays.
“With all that’s going on in the current pandemic, it’s going to be be crucial in talks like these to keep hold of what you have, rather than worrying more so about going out and replacing what you’ve got.
“If you lose a player in this climate, it’s going to be four or five times harder to replace them for the same amount of money.”
Longstaff rocketed into the limelight last season with a stunning winner against Manchester United on his Premier League debut back in October.
As the campaign progressed his first team opportunities became more limited, however, and the academy graduate registered just 27 minutes of top flight action from February onwards.
In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent has dropped a £5billion takeover claim as talks reportedly speed up.