Newcastle are preparing to improve their contract offer to Matty Longstaff following the news that Udinese have registered an interest in signing the midfielder.
The academy graduate is out-of-contract at St James’ Park this summer and rejected a new long-term offer from the club earlier this season, Longstaff seeking significantly improved terms from his reported £850-per-week academy contract following his breakthrough this season.
Longstaff – who followed older brother Sean into the Newcastle first-team – burst onto the scene after scoring the winner against Manchester United on his full Premier League debut and has since gone on to make a further 11 appearances in all competitions for Steve Bruce’s side.
Newcastle’s initial offer was believed to be in the region of £15,000-a-week, though the Telegraph are reporting that the Magpies are prepared to raise that offer to fend off interest from Udinese.
The Italian side are reportedly prepared to make the 20-year-old their highest-paid player on a five-year contract worth a reported £30,000-a-week, whilst a move to Serie A would also land Longstaff and his family a significant signing-on bonus of around £2m.
Newcastle’s increased offer is believed to be lower than that made by the Italian side, their £20,000-a-week proposal also reported to have been rejected by Longstaff and his advisers.
There is also a ‘suspicion’ that Udinese’s interest in the player is a loophole in a move to take the midfielder to Premier League rivals Watford. Both Watford and the Italian side are owned by the Pozzo family, though the latter would have to pay a substantially lower compensation fee for the out-of-contract youngster.
Udinese would likely have to pay a compensation figure of around £400,000 to sign Longstaff, whilst a direct domestic switch to Watford would leave the Hornets facing the prospect of paying millions for the player, with fees for players under the age of 24 set by a tribunal.
High-profile cases of compensation costs include the moves that took Danny Ings and Harvey Elliott to Liverpool from Burnley and Fulham respectively, the former deal believed to be in the region of £8m.