Perez swapped St James’ for the King Power Stadium on Thursday after Leicester City exercised his £30million release clause. Longstaff has no such clause, but United are circling.
They now, at last, appear ready to submit a bid for the player, having been reported to be interested for some time now. Owner Mike Ashley may find it hard to turn down a big bid for the Englishman, which would represent a huge profit on the academy product.
This is the big problem for the Newcastle fans: Ashley will see any big transfer fee for Longstaff as a net positive because of the huge profit he would make on him. Ashley is a businessman and Longstaff, as an academy product, cost him nothing to bring in. Therefore, if he can sell him for £25million, he’ll be thinking ‘happy days’. Obviously the Magpies faithful won’t see it that way; they’ll view another top talent leaving the club as a massive disaster. But we know that Ashley isn’t really bothered about what happens on the pitch as long as Newcastle stay in the Premier League. He’s perfectly happy with top flight mediocrity, because it makes the club so much money. Selling Longstaff would be an extension of that, and so Ashley is probably ready to do it to make a nice profit. For the team, though, this would be a disaster after losing Perez on Thursday.