Following rumours of interest in Sean Longstaff, Manchester United will make a formal offer for Newcastle’s rising star, an ESPN report claims.

Any approach will be met with a less than lukewarm response. The Magpies see him as a future captain, and want to build a team around the North Shields youngster.

Longstaff burst onto the Premier League scene midway through last season, making his debut at Liverpool on Boxing Day.

An England senior squad call up was mooted, such were his impressive performances.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

But for the ligament injury sustained at West Ham in February, the 21-year-old could have been part of this summer’s Nations League finals in Portugal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s remit to rebuild the Manchester United squad has him trying to bring the best young talent to the club.

They hope to emulate Alex Ferguson’s golden era, when his team of youngsters dominated English football.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Mike Ashley must resist any offer for Longstaff

But Newcastle will not want to sell their young talisman, and certainly the player will not agitate for a move. Both the club, and fans, hope he can follow Alan Shearer’s example of loyalty to his boyhood team.

With everyone seemingly singing from the same hymn sheet, it would appear to be a frivolous move by Solskjaer.

But the fly in the ointment – as ever – is Mike Ashley.

Andy Carroll – another player deemed ‘unsellable’ – is proof that one big offer is enough to have the helicopter in the air.

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

The Old Trfafford deal-makers will hope Ashley will bite if they dangle enough of a carrot in front of him.

If the club are serious about keeping Rafa Benitez, they must not sell players from under his feet.

All signs point to Longstaff staying, and certainly fans will hope, for once, common sense prevails.

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