Sean Longstaff was one of last season’s success stories, not just for Newcastle, but for the Premier League as a whole, and it is no surprise that he is rumoured to be the target of interest from Manchester United according to the Mirror.
Fans have always loved a local talent making the grade at St James’ Park, and in Longstaff, they believe they have a new Alan Shearer – someone who can spend most of his career, and go on to captain his boyhood club, for years to come.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United have other ideas, as they look to lure the 21-year-old to Old Trafford this summer.
Supporters will hope he resists their overtures – as Shearer did – and continue his development on Tyneside.
But it may not be as cut and dried as that, as fans will remember when they look back to Andy Carroll’s dramatic deadline day move to Liverpool.
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It would be a huge disappointment if Longstaff was sold, and the noises coming out of Newcastle are that the player is not for sale.
Second-guessing Mike Ashley is almost impossible
But Mike Ashley’s blueprint has always been to buy young and sell big.
So if he is tempted by an offer of around £25 million for a player that cost the club nothing, it would not be a massive surprise if he listened to it.
Many fans would point to the fact that with Longstaff being from Newcastle, he is unlikely to want to leave – and that is probably true.
But it can be looked at another way.
With him being a Newcastle fan, the current situation at the club – the apparent lack of ambition, the clouded future of the manager that handed him his big opportunity, the current animosity between the club and fans, and the uncertainty of what is actually happening – is likely to be hitting Longstaff harder than most.
As such, he may be so dismayed at it, that a move away could be seen as a better option than staying and watching the club he loves disintegrating around him.
Whatever the situation is, Solskjaer’s apparent interest is unwanted and unhelpful.
It is up to Lee Charnley to stand up to the Manchester giants, and to Ashley if need be, and ensure that the player is a major part of this squad when the transfer window closes.