Eddie Howe has told The Gazette that Nottingham Forest linked Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff is close to signing a new contract.

The 24-year-old was linked with a move to the Reds in January as Steve Cooper considered bolstering his midfield ranks.

Longstaff had fallen down the pecking order, although his form during the second half of 2021/22 has promoted Howe to make a u-turn of sorts.

The player who has risen through the St James’ Park youth ranks has played the full 90 minutes in three of the last four Newcastle games.

Forest wanted Longstaff
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As a result, he’s set to be offered a four-year contract extension to continue playing for the club he supported as a boy.

Forest are likely to need a new midfielder in the summer. Ryan Yates is tied to a long-term deal but James Garner will return to Manchester United.

Cafu and Braian Ojeda are also in the ranks, whilst Tyrese Fornah will likely compete for a place in the first team next season.

With that in mind, another option is likely to be sought as Cooper looks to make sure he’s got the best squad available to him as possible.

Longstaff looks to be off the table though as he prepares to commit his future to Newcastle ahead of a busy summer transfer window.

Forest wanted Longstaff but wages would have been a stumbling block

Forest may have wanted Longstaff in January but the wages would have proved a major obstacle.

He earns a sizeable £52,000-a-week at Newcastle and that would have probably discounted plenty of Championship clubs.

Longstaff is likely to earn a pay rise after he signs his contract extension. Howe has clearly rated his recent performances.

Forest wanted Longstaff
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For Forest, they will want to see which division they will be playing in before committing to any serious contenders for their shortlist next season.

Longstaff will now be off the radar though with his future looking likely to remain at Newcastle for the foreseeable future.

With Cooper and CEO Dane Murphy pulling the strings, Forest should be in safe hands when it comes to their summer recruitment.

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