Everton appear to have been dealt a transfer blow after Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe said that Sean Longstaff has a long-term future at the club.
The Toffees have had one offer for the midfielder rebuffed, which would have been part of a deal that saw Lucas Digne move the other way, and reports suggest they plan on making another bid in the near future.
Longstaff is reportedly open to playing under Everton boss Rafa Benitez after the Spaniard handed him his debut when the two were together at St James' Park.
But Howe seems to have shut down any notion of losing such a key player this month as the Toon battle against relegation.
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“January is very, very intense for everyone connected with the club, and trust me, this has been the most intense January I’ve experienced,” said the Newcastle boss [via The Newcastle Chronicle ].
“So, in terms of our current players that are out of contract, that may well have to wait until the end of January when we know we’re secure in what we’ve done.
“Sean has a long-term future at this football club.
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“I've been impressed with him since I’ve come in.
“He’s been committed, he’s trained well and he’s earned his place in the team. He got an opportunity against Man United, and I thought he was excellent.
“I thought the team weren’t particularly good against Cambridge , so we’re looking for a response from the team, and Sean is part of that team.”