Padraig Whelan

Sean Longstaff acknowledges being distracted by United speculation

The ongoing summer rumours linking Sean Longstaff with Manchester United were a source of distraction to the player, he has confessed.

As part of United’s plans to rebuild with homegrown talent which included signing Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, they also enquired after the Magpies man.

That led to Longstaff being placed in a tough spot, although he also credited Newcastle team-mate Matt Ritchie for helping him refocus.

“You can sometimes get distracted by outside noise and maybe in the summer I was for a little bit,” Longstaff told NUFC TV.

“It is hard not to when you go anywhere and see your face on the front of a newspaper.

“Or you turn on the television and people are talking about you and they aren’t talking about little things.

“They are discussing things that could change your life and you get distracted by the figures that are thrown out and do things you wouldn’t normally do.

“But it just goes to show that I did impress last year when I was given a chance so I just have to stick to doing that.

“I speak to Matty [Ritchie] a lot as he is someone I lean on and he helps keep me grounded with good advice.”

Longstaff has had an injury-hampered start to the new campaign but does believe he’s approaching the fine form he showed last season.