Newcastle United close in on second summer signing as player agrees St James’ Park move

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A deal for Harvey Barnes is edging closer with Allan Saint-Maximin set to move to Saudi Arabia.

Harvey Barnes has agreed to join Newcastle United as discussions with Leicester City continue over a transfer fee.

The Magpies have re-opened talks with the Championship club and hope to reach an agreement in the coming days with Allan Saint-Maximin expected to complete a move to Saudi Pro League outfit Al Ahli.

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United head coach Eddie Howe revealed after last night’s 2-1 friendly win at Rangers that the Frenchman is being sacrificed to bolster his transfer budget, which is currently heavily restricted by Financial Fair Play.

Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes.  (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes.  (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

“I wouldn’t say it’s forced but Financial Fair Play forces that to a degree,” Howe said on Saint-Maximin’s proposed exit. “We could make a stance not to sell Maxi but we’d put ourselves in a position where we wouldn’t be able to sell Sandro [Tonali] or any other player so our hands would have been tied.

“We knew this summer the likelihood is that we would have to trade a player and [Saint-Maximin] leaving is what looks like will happen but until it does we don’t know.”

Although both players offer very different attributes, Barnes is set to arrive as a direct replacement for Saint-Maximin on the left wing.

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The one-time England international has statistically performed better at Premier League level, scoring 35 goals and providing 25 assists compared to Saint-Maximin’s 12 goals and 19 assists.

As reported by NewcastleWorld last week, Barnes is extremely keen on a move to St James’ Park, which will host Champions League football next season, and has already viewed properties in the North East.

In terms of the player’s side, a deal is all but agreed. It is our understanding that Barnes’ representatives have been in regular contact with Newcastle officials over the last 24 hours.

Howe’s squad flew to the United States this morning to take in the Premier League Summer Series, where they will take on Aston Villa, Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion.

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Leicester are heading to Thailand at the end of the week but Barnes isn’t expected to travel having already missed friendlies against Peterborough United and Northampton Town.

Barnes will likely travel to the States when a final transfer fee is settled to undergo a medical.

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