Newcastle United reportedly blocked Watford’s attempts to sign Matty Longstaff on deadline day over historical differences with the Pozzo family.
The Hornets were keen to secure a loan deal for the 20-year-old midfielder. It would have been part of a three-player transfer.
Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury was set to move to St James’ Park with Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah replacing him at the King Power. But the Magpies were willing to forgo the opportunity of bringing in Foxes midfielder Choudhury to snub Watford.
With the youngster pondering whether or not to sign a new deal, the Italian club made him an offer. They were said to be willing to double what the Tynesiders were offering.
After much soul searching, the England Under-20 ace finally committed to Newcastle in August 2020. He penned a two-year deal and at the time manager Steve Bruce expressed his delight.
“It’s great to see a young local lad from North Shields staying with his boyhood club,” he said. “It’s taken a while, but patience is a virtue and I’ve always said that I was quietly confident.
“We never want to lose our good young players and it’s an important time for Matty now.”
Although they won that particular battle, it seems as though Newcastle have not forgotten Udinese’s conduct over the issue. They felt Longstaff became unsettled with the uncertainty over his future, which affected his performances.
And that is why they refused to do business with the Hertfordshire outfit.
Move might have made sense
The ironic thing about Newcastle refusing to play ball is that it might actually hamper Longstaff’s development. All three players in the proposed deal remained with their clubs and so everyone lost out.
Longstaff has failed to secure much game time in 2020-2021, with just five Premier League appearances. A switch to the Championship and a club chasing promotion might have been beneficial.
But it was not to be and he will now need to fight for his place in Bruce’s first team. The Rotherham-born youngster is highly thought of by the north-east club.
It may be that he is sent out on loan in the future. But, by all accounts, it will not be to Vicarage Road.
READ MORE: Willock reveals surprise Newcastle trait