Newcastle United youngster, Sean Longstaff has revealed that the bids for him from Manchester United in the summer turned his head.
Longstaff was one of the players targeted by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he sort to improve his squad before the start of the season.
He had caught the eye of the Red Devils gaffer last season after bursting on to the scene in the Premier League and impressing in the nine appearances he made before suffering a knee ligament injury in March.
The 21-year-old was a subject of a reported £30m bid from the Manchester club during the last transfer window but a deal never materialized with Newcastle holding out for a £50m fee.
With the deal failing to go through, the England U-21 international has now disclosed that teammate, Matt Ritchie helped him block out speculations at the time.
“You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and maybe for a little bit in the summer I was a bit,” the midfielder told Newcastle's official website.
“It’s hard not to whenever you go anywhere you see your face on the front of a newspaper and you turn the telly on people are talking about you. And it’s not like they’re talking about little things, they’re talking about things that can change your life really.
“The expectation is half what I’ve done and it’s probably a good thing. It does just go to show I did impress people when I got my chance last year. So for me, it’s about not listening to them and sticking to what I do. I speak to Matty Ritchie a lot, he’s someone I lean on in the squad. He tends to keep us grounded and he’s always there with good bits of advice.
“Sometimes you can get distracted by figures that are thrown out there and you’re doing things you wouldn’t normally try to do. I think I spoke to him about it and he said the reason people are speaking about you is because of what you did and keep everything so simple and ticking along and you’ve got the other stuff there if you need it."
After a fine first season and those links to United, Longstaff understands that more attention will be on him now, which is why he hopes to return to the same level he reached last season.
“I’m not back to where I was last year but I’m getting closer and closer and I think it’s just about working hard and getting back to that level.
"The outside noise is something I try not to listen to. It’s always going to be there now – there’ll be more eyes on me now.”
Fourteenth placed, Newcastle United next game is against European Champions and Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield.