Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SPORTS - EX­CLU­SIVE BY HARRY PRATT

NEWCASTLE ace Sean Longstaff is con­sid­er­ing his fu­ture fol­low­ing the shock exit of Rafa Ben­itez – and that’s great news for Manch­ester United.

Sources close to the Toon mid­fielder (above) – wanted by Old Traf­ford boss Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer – con­firm he is “bit­terly up­set” about Ben­itez leav­ing St James Park.

All of which is fur­ther en­cour­age­ment for Man United in their pur­suit of Longstaff, 21, who is cur­rently re­cov­er­ing from knee lig­a­ment dam­age sus­tained in March.

Sol­sk­jaer (be­low) views the Newcastle play­maker as an­other vi­tal piece in the on­go­ing over­haul of his United squad af­ter be­ing im­pressed with his break­through sea­son in the Premier League. Longstaff fits the Reds’ trans­fer strat­egy as they are look­ing to lure some of the finest young “home” tal­ent in the English game.

They have signed £15mil­lion Wales winger Daniel James, 21, from Swansea City and right­back Aaron Wan-Bis­saka, also 21, for £50m from Crys­tal Palace.

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