We may have read claims previously that Man Utd were on the point of launching an imminent bid to sign Sean Longstaff but that was when Rafa Benitez was Newcastle United manager and had the authority to put the block on any incoming or outgoing transfers. That is on the point of not being the case in a matter of hours.

The Mirror – click here – claims Man U are ready to make a 15 millions bid to sign Longstaff but that is likely only an opening bid. I think we can expect Ashley will be licking his lips at the prospect of negotiating a better price as he has done successfully previously for Carroll, Sissoko et al. Longstaff has made a public statement that he is living the dream playing for his boyhood and local club and all of that but I think we are all clued up and hard-bitten by experience to know that all of this patter is linked to marketing spiel, loyalty bonuses and contract clauses etc. Longstaff would not be human if he wasn’t utterly disenchanted by losing Benitez, the man who has introduced him into the United first team and contributed to his impressive start in Premier League football. I don’t imagine he will be the only one either. Longstaff might look also at the re-shaping Solkajaer is attempting at Man U, the direction of that club as it attempts to recover lost ground and well, the small matter of doubtless having his wages probably more than doubled.

For us, we know from experience that any monies received from the Longstaff sale will not find their way back into investment into the squad – as was the case with the sale of Carroll in particular.

No Newcastle United team has ever really improved for long by selling its best players as supporters who were around when Malcolm Macdonald was sold to Arsenal in the 70s and the best of English talent in Chris Waddle, Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne were flogged in the 80s. The Andy Cole sale was possibly the exception that proved the rule but even then, that is debatable.

This week could be as bad as last.