By David Woods

20th Aug, 2020 | 1:03pm

MOT View: Strike one off the Leeds list as free agent set to agree deal with PL rivals

The Times is reporting that Newcastle are set to win the race for former player and free agent Matty Longstaff, despite his contract expiring at the end of last month.

The report says that he has finally been convinced to sign a new contract after talks last week.

The 20-year-old had been on an £800-a-week contract and could now hook up with the other Newcastle players who have already started pre-season training.

Serie A side Udinese were thought to be leading the race for the midfielder while the Times report says that Leeds were also interested.

Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie said the same in a Twitter update on Thursday morning, tweeting, “Udinese, Leeds and Brighton all attempted to take him on a free transfer but the 20-year-old will stay at SJP.”

This was always a longshot but it’s a shame nonetheless.

MOT Leeds News columnist Paul Robinson said that Longstaff would be a great addition for any Premier League side but added that he couldn’t believe Longstaff was refusing to sign a new Newcastle contract.

It looks like the youngster was just waiting for the offer to get to a level he was happy with.

It’s unusual for a player to have to see his contract expire before getting an offer that’s good enough but with Longstaff’s previous deal only being worth £800/wk, there was obviously huge room for manoeuvre.

He didn’t start a game since lockdown and that suggested he was on his way.

The two goals he scored against Man United last season seemingly made him tailor-made for a role at Elland Road.

However, it does look like his future is now in black and white and it’s a shame for Leeds. With only compensation to pay Newcastle if they had signed him, he would have been a great addition to the squad.

In other Leeds United news, Striker linked strongly with Leeds tests positive for COVID-19, pulled from squad & quarantined