By Noel Whelan

21st Aug, 2021 | 8:54pm

Whelan: Furious Newcastle fans should blame Ashley as favourite set to quit

Noel Whelan has claimed Mike Ashley is to blame should Sean Longstaff leave Newcastle United this summer.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested a lack of transfer funds could force Steve Bruce to sell the academy product.

The Daily Mail (18th August) report Newcastle have placed a £10million price tag on the 23-year-old.

Everton and Southampton are reportedly keen on signing him from the Magpies.

A homegrown favourite, Longstaff is into the final year of his contract at St James’ Park.

Whelan admitted his exit would go down like a lead balloon among supporters.

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He suggested Ashley’s lack of financial backing is to blame.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think this comes down to where the club’s at in terms of ownership and how they do business now.

“I think that’s one thing that frustrates Newcastle fans. These players they want to buy and bring into the club, they can’t.

“With a new consortium, they could go out there and have the pickings of players and keep their homegrown talent.

“Also, develop a huge squad that needs to compete in the Premier League.We know how big a squad you need these days.

“It’s a level of frustration but, then again, it’ll be one of understanding, I would expect, on the player’s part that he feels he needs to move.

“Things aren’t in great shape at Newcastle in terms of ownership and money spending. I think Bruce knows that. That £10million that comes is going to be well needed.

“It certainly won’t go down well with the fans that they’re selling an up and coming, promising young homegrown player to another club. I don’t know any clubs that would enjoy that.”

In other news, Newcastle United urged to raid giants for in-demand defender.