Eddie Howe confirms £40m Newcastle United transfer talks as Allan Saint-Maximin nears exit

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Allan Saint-Maximin is close to leaving Newcastle United after entering talks with another club, believed to Saudi Pro League side Al Ahil.

Eddie Howe has confirmed Allan Saint-Maximin is in talks with another club about ending his four-year spell at Newcastle United.

The Frenchman played in Saturday’s opening pre-season friendly against Gateshead but missed this evening’s visit to Rangers, where goals from Miguel Almiron and Harrison Ashby claimed a 2-1 win.

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The team understood to be in talks with the 26-year-old are Saudi Pro League side Al Ahil, who are 75 per-cent owned by the Magpies’ majority owners the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin in action against Gateshead. (Photo credit: Kris Hodgetts/ KH Photos)Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin in action against Gateshead. (Photo credit: Kris Hodgetts/ KH Photos)
Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin in action against Gateshead. (Photo credit: Kris Hodgetts/ KH Photos)

Howe said: “Allan is in discussions regarding a move to another club. Nothing is confirmed, nothing is done, it’s still at the early stages, but that is why he wasn’t here today.

“There’s no immediate plans for him to join us tomorrow [to the USA], but we’ll wait and see. These things can change and he could end up with us again, and if that is the case, then we’d love to welcome him back.”

Howe claimed as recently as Saturday he’d like to keep Saint-Maximin at St James’ Park but Financial Fair Play means he has to trade in order to maximise his summer transfer budget.

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Newcastle have already parted with £52million to sign Sandro Tonali from AC Milan and are keen to add Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes to their ranks.

“With Financial Fair Play you sort of have to trade otherwise for us this summer we would have been stuck in a position where we couldn’t recruit players the other way. That’s how Financial Fair Play works so we understand that.

“Maxi is a top player, we definitely don’t want to lose him, we wanted to strengthen the group but sometimes these things happen and we have to accept that.

“It’s too early to speak about Maxi in the past tense at Newcatle but certainly my respect and love for him is probably the same as the supporters. The supporters love him, we love him but if he does go it’ll be a really difficult moment for all of us.”

Asked if incomings were close as talks between Newcastle and Leicester regarding Barnes, Howe said: “No, not currently.”

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