Friday, September 29, 2023

Eddie Howe all-but confirms Allan Saint-Maximin will depart Newcastle amid Saudi Arabia links

Allan Saint-Maximin’s departure from Newcastle seems imminent, as confirmed by Eddie Howe, who stated that the winger is in talks to leave St James’ Park. According to talkSPORT, Al Ahli, a Saudi Pro League team, has shown interest in the 26-year-old player.

It appears that Saint-Maximin’s four-year tenure in Tyneside is coming to an end, with negotiations progressing towards a move. The French winger was absent from Newcastle’s pre-season friendly against Rangers, further indicating his potential departure.

Speaking after the match at Ibrox, Eddie Howe revealed that the club is engaged in discussions with another team, although he refrained from disclosing their identity. He explained, “He’s in early discussions over a potential move away. That’s why he wasn’t here.”

Howe also hinted at Newcastle’s financial constraints, suggesting that the club needs to balance its books and may not be able to retain their key players. He stated, “I wouldn’t say it’s been forced upon us, but I think with Financial Fair Play it’s been forced upon us to a degree. We could make a stance to not sell Maxi, but then we wouldn’t be in a position where we could recruit Sandro [Tonali], so our hands would’ve been tied. We knew this summer that we had to trade and it looks like it will happen, but we don’t know.”

The manager emphasized his respect for Allan Saint-Maximin and their positive relationship, expressing his hope that the player feels the same way about him and the club. Howe acknowledged that sometimes such moves are necessary for the growth of the club and for players to experience something different.

Since joining Newcastle in 2019, Saint-Maximin has contributed 13 goals in 124 appearances across all competitions. If he is sold, it is believed that Newcastle will pursue a move for Leicester’s Harvey Barnes. The Foxes are reportedly seeking a fee of around £35 million, with Newcastle aiming to secure the 25-year-old ahead of West Ham.
Eddie Howe all-but confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin will be departing Newcastle United amid links to Saudi Arabia.

The manager, who was unveiled as the new manager of the club less than a week ago, said that due to the player’s links to the country, it was likely that he would be leaving the club.

However, Howe also said he had yet to discuss the situation with Saint-Maximin and added that the club is yet to receive an offer for his services.

Speaking to reporters after the club’s preseason friendly against West Bromwich Albion, Howe said:

“I’m led to believe that Allan has been linked with the Saudi Arabia project. We haven’t had an offer but I guess it’s inevitable with those links that he will go.

“I’m yet to speak to him about it but I can see the link and if and when it happens then it’s something we’d have to accept and move on from.”

The links to Saudi Arabia have been circulating for several weeks, but Howe’s comments suggest that the move is likely to go ahead.

Saint-Maximin has been a key figure for Newcastle United since signing from OGC Nice in 2019. In his two seasons with the club, the winger has made 53 appearances, scoring six goals and providing 11 assists.

Whilst his departure, if it does go ahead, will be a huge blow for the club, it could also provide them with an opportunity to reinvest the money made from the transfer back into strengthening the squad.

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