Steve Bruce reveals how close Manchester United were to signing Newcastle star Sean Longstaff

He was heavily linked with a £50m move back in 2019.

Steve Bruce reveals how close Manchester United were to signing Newcastle star Sean Longstaff
Borussia Dortmund v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Sean Longstaff has made 147 appearances for Newcastle since his debut in 2018 (Photo: Getty)

Former Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has claimed that Sean Longstaff was ‘never close’ to signing for Manchester United.

In the summer of 2019, Longstaff was heavily linked with switching St. James’ Park for Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began his Red Devils rebuild.

The midfielder was up for the move, but Newcastle’s asking price of £50million put off United and though they were still interested when the the transfer window re-opened the following January, the transfer never materialised.

At the time, a move from relegation battlers Newcastle to Champions League bound United would have been very desirable but fast-forward four years and Longstaff is surely very happy that it didn’t happen.

Backed by their new owners, the Magpies are playing in the UCL and Longstaff is a key player in Eddie Howe’s side.

Back in April, the 26-year-old slammed Howe’s predecessor Bruce, admitting he didn’t enjoy playing under him and he felt as if the United legend wasn’t coaching him properly.

Bruce has now responded to these comments and says he holds no ill will towards the midfielder, but also revealed that the player was very much determined to join United – though the transfer was actually ‘never on the cards’.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Steve Bruce managed Newcastle from 2019 to 2021 (Photo: Getty)

‘I inherited Sean at a time where a big money move to Manchester United was on the cards. Newcastle were turning down a colossal amount of money, and that was swirling around at the time,’ Bruce told Gambling Zone.

‘Sean was recovering from an awful injury at the time. He’s entitled to his opinion, and he’s shown maturity over the last couple of years. 

‘We had him almost five years ago. He was a lot younger then, a lot of things were swirling around, and that was combined with a long-term injury.

‘I’ve been nothing but impressed with how he’s got on, and you have to accept that criticism of a part of management. Not everybody is going to like you, and I never expected him to.

‘It’s never given as a manager. There were times where Sean needed to mature, and he has done. He’s proven to be a very good player.

‘Sean Longstaff’s move to Man United was never close. He was insistent that it was at one point, but I knew Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan – it was never on the cards.’

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