Bruce: “If players want to run down their contract there’s not much we can do as a club”
By Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 26/06/20 1:56pm
Steve Bruce says Newcastle have done everything they can to try and convince Matty Longstaff to remain at the club.
Longstaff has agreed a contract extension until the end of the season but will then become a free agent, having turned down a long-term offer from Newcastle earlier this campaign.
The 20-year-old, who has been earning £850 per week on an academy contract, was offered a lucrative deal by Udinese before the coronavirus lockdown.
B’mouth vs Newcastle
July 1, 2020, 5:30pm
“The ball is in Matty’s hands,” said Newcastle head coach Bruce.
“I’ve gone public with it; I think we’ve made him a wonderful offer and for me it should be his way forward in his career. Being a Newcastle lad and having the season he’s just had, it’s his way forward.
“Of course we would all love him to stay but, as young as he is, it’s his prerogative. If players want to run down their contract there’s not much we can do as a club.
“We’ve done everything we possibly can. The rest is up to Matty, it’s for him to decide.”
Longstaff’s short-term deal was one of six extensions announced by Newcastle on Thursday, which included Javier Manquillo agreeing a new four-year contract and Andy Carroll signing on for another 12 months.
“You saw Andy’s influence straight away the other night (against Aston Villa) when we brought him onto the pitch,” said Bruce.
“If he can get and keep himself right he’ll be an addition to any Premier League team, because he’s something different.
“He certainly added to that in the week – he comes on, makes a goal. That’s a few times now he has influenced games for us.
“Also in the dressing room, he’s not the young Andy Carroll any more. He’s someone that people look up to, especially young players like Longstaff, and try and aspire to what Andy has achieved.
“Even with the injury problems he has had, he still knocked on my door the other day and wanted to know why he wasn’t in the first XI. I was quietly pleased he still had that hunger about him. He still wants to be Newcastle’s No 9.
“I’m delighted for Javier. He’s been terrific since I’ve walked through the door. He has been consistent and done very well.
“He’s got huge competition in (DeAndre) Yedlin and Emil (Krafth) but he has grasped the opportunity and played very well. I’m delighted that he has signed a new contract.”