Newcastle United stance over Saudi Arabia deal revealed amid Premier League ‘scrutiny’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Confirmation over the deal is believed to be close after Newcastle United faced the scrutiny of their Premier League rivals once again.

Newcastle United will be ‘aware’ they are under scrutiny from their Premier League rivals as confirmation is awaited over Allan Saint-Maximin’s move to Saudi Pro-League club Al Ahli.

A deal to make the French winger the latest high-profile addition to the Saudi league was reportedly agreed last week as the former Nice star was left out of the Magpies squad that travelled to the United States to take part in the Premier League Summer Series.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A fee of around £30million has been reported but the deal - which would see Saint-Maximin become team-mates with former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and ex-Chelsea keeper Eduoard Mendy - is said to have been the subject of a number of complaints from the Magpies’ Premier League rivals as they believe it could fall under the league’s newly-introduced related party regulations.

United’s majority shareholders, the Saudi Arabia Public Investement Fund, also hold a majority stake in Al Ahli and that have provoked some suggestions the Magpies are trying to aid their own battle with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations by selling Saint-Maximin at what some perceive to be an inflated price.

Some onlookers have claimed £30million is below market value for the winger - but Football finance expert Kieran Maguire still believes the extra scrutiny placed upon the deal means Newcastle will have paid extra attention to ‘dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s’ as the official confirmation of the move draws near.

He told Football Insider: “There is always going to be a lot of scrutiny when it comes to Newcastle and any transactions that involve institutions from Saudi Arabia.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This will be seen by critics as a related-party transaction if Saint-Maximin goes to another club controlled by PIF. However, we already have multi-club ownership models in existence with regards to many owners. You only have to look at the number of transactions between Watford and Udinese to see evidence of that.

“Sometimes it’s easier to negotiate with a friendly party in terms of agreeing a price than one who is trying to extract the maximum value or pay a minimum amount. Newcastle will be dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s in regards to the deal as they will be aware that they are under scrutiny from the Premier League and rival clubs.”

Newcastle have already signed AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali and Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes during the summer transfer window and are hoping to make at least two more additions to their squad as they prepare for their return to the Champions League after an absence of two decades.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.