By Ray Livingstone

17th Oct, 2019 | 7:22am

Benitez: Gerrard tried to sign Newcastle star at Rangers before first-team breakthrough

Steven Gerard tried to bring Newcastle star Sean Longstaff to Rangers on loan in the summer of 2018, before the 21-year-old broke through into the first team. 

Former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez revealed this in a column on The Athletic, and that he told Gerrard that it wouldn’t be possible.

Longstaff broke into the Newcastle first-team last December and turned heads immediately before suffering an injury that kept him out of the last nine games of the campaign.

He’s made such an impact in such a short time that it’s been reported that he’s now stalling on a new contract with Man United interested in him. [Manchester Evening News]

Writing in The Athletic, Benitez said, “In fact, in the summer of last year, Stevie called me about Sean Longstaff. Rangers were interested and he asked whether they could sign him on loan, but I told him “no” — he’d be staying at Newcastle United.

“Some people have said, ‘Oh, Rafa was lucky because of Longstaff’ but we’d been watching him and we were happy with him, we played him in the first-team, supported him and gave him confidence. Turning Rangers down is proof of what we thought of Sean.”

Saying no to Rangers might have been proof that Newcastle knew what they’d got in Longstaff, but it’s also yet more proof of the good eye of Gerrard.

Longstaff would have been brilliant for Rangers – a two-footed midfielder who has already been compared with Michael Carrick. [Guardian]

This one wasn’t to be but it’s another notch in the cap for Gerrard, who has taken his Rangers side to the top of the league and with a real shot at silverware this season.

In other Rangers news, Carragher makes huge Rangers claim, switches allegiance from Celtic