Eddie Howe plays down potential sale of key Newcastle United player in summer transfer window
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The Frenchman was a major talking point as Howe previewed Sunday’s game with Aston Villa at St James’ Park.
It came after Saint-Maximin’s dazzling display in the 3-1 victory over Everton, which helped the Magpies climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Should the 24-year-old perform that way between now until the end of the season, it is almost certain clubs from across Europe will become interested again.
Saint-Maximin being linked with an exit from Newcastle would have sparked fear among fans under previous owner Mike Ashley.
However, with the Saudi Arabian-led owners holding big ambitions, there is hope United can hold on to their best players and move away from becoming a ‘selling club’.
And on that, Howe can’t see Saint-Maximin, who is under contract until 2025, leaving Tyneside any time soon.
Eddie Howe has ‘no intention’ of losing Allan Saint-Maximin
“There is no intention from my side to lose Maxi,” Howe said.
“I’ve had no indication from the player that his head is anywhere other than Newcastle and making sure he is committed to us and trying to elevate the teams out of the difficulties they’re in.
“I see a player who loves playing at St James’ Park in front of supporters. He is idolised by them and that relationship is key to Maxi.
“It’s really important we help improve him. My main focus every day is trying to find an edge to make his game better and if he does, he’ll enjoy a great career and hopefully he’ll be here for many, many years.”
Allan Saint-Maximin’s ambitions
Saint-Maximin has not hidden the ambitions he has of his own. He wants to compete for trophies and represent the France national team.
On being called up to Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus, Howe said: “That’s something he can achieve, without a doubt.
“He has got everything you would want in the locker already.
“His performance the other day, his cross for Ryan Fraser’s goal, was incredible. But his workrate, endeavor and attitude were great too.
“He has the talent to do what he wants to do but it’s finding that on a consistent basis, that’s the challenge for any player of his type.”
‘Saint-Maximin is a match-winner’
Howe continued: “He’s unique as a person and as a player.
“We have built a good relationship in a short period and getting to know him even better is beneficial for me knowing how to get more out of him and adding more layers to his game.
“I’m always looking to improve everybody and Maxi is no different. I’m looking to take his game to another level by working with him with my coaching staff.
“I am excited by him every time he steps on the pitch. There’s that feeling that you don’t quite know what he will do, or how he can win a match, because he is a match-winner.”