Newcastle United Holding Talks With Al Ahli Over Allan Saint-Maximin Transfer

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Newcastle United are holding negotiations with Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli over the transfer of Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin to the club.

Eddie Howe has acknowledged that his possible departure is due to Financial Fair Play reasons.

Maximin wasn’t included in the squad that traveled to Scotland, for the 2-1 victory over Rangers at the Ibrox stadium.

Newcastle United defeated Rangers despite Maximin’s absence

Newcastle United defeated Rangers via goals from Miguel Almiron and Harrison Ashby, with Sam Lammers scoring the solitary goal for Michael Beale’s side.

Newcastle United transfer Alan Saint-Maximin to Al Ahli
Alan Saint-Maximin is set for a move to Saudi Arabia

Discussions over a deal for Allan Saint-Maximin is still ongoing, and the Magpies are hoping they can recoup at least £30 million from his sale.

Eddie Howe has said that he doesn’t want to let go of one of his first team stars, although the Englishman acknowledges that for signings to be made, he must let go of some of his key players.

Newcastle United have lined up Harvey Barnes as a potential replacement for Alan Saint-Maximin if he does exit the club.

Barnes’ deal could be sealed soon and he could be part of the players who will be strutting their stuff in the Magpies preseason tour to the United States Of America.

Concerning the imminent departure of Allan Saint-Maximin, Eddie Howe expressed that nothing is certain as the deal isn’t a done deal yet.

He shared that Saint-Maximin wasn’t present at their encounter against Rangers due to the ongoing deal that is being brokered.

Howe also said there were no plans on ground currently, for the winger to join Newcastle United’s preseason tour.

He said: “There are no immediate plans for him to join us on Wednesday on the flight to the US, 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.”

Another high-profile player set to move to Saudi Arabia

Several high profile stars have been moving to Saudi Arabia this summer as the Pro League continues his painstaking effort at growing its league to the pinnacle.

Alan Saint-Maximin is close to joining Ruben Neves in the Saudi Pro League

Newcastle United are also owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) and one can draw assumptions on why such a high-profile move may be coming to reality.

Allan Saint-Maximin made 31 appearances for the Magpies last season, scoring 1 goal and providing 5 assists across all competitions.

If he joins Al Ahli, he will become the 6th arrival to the club this summer, having already signed Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Sumaihan Al-Nabit, Fahad Al-Rashidi and Abdullah Otayf.

The 3-time Saudi top-flight champions are also edging closer to securing a deal for Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez.

Al Ahli are making their return to the Pro League, having competed in the second tier last term.

They ended as Champions last term and they secured promotion to the top-flight alongside runners up Al Hazem.

Reason for Allan Saint-Maximin transfer to Al Ahli

Meanwhile, Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe was quizzed on the reason behind Allan Saint-Maximin’s possible departure and he pointed towards Financial Fair Play reasons.

Newcastle United transfer Alan Saint-Maximin to Al Ahli
Eddie Howe gives reason for Alan Saint-Maximin’s imminent departure

He said: “Financial Fair Play forced that to a degree. We could make a stance not to sell Maxi, but then we’d be in a position where we couldn’t recruit Sandro (Tonali) or any other player, so our hands would have been tied. 

“We knew this summer, the likelihood is we’d have to sell a player to trade, and that looks like it will happen. Sometimes these things have to happen for the club to grow.

Howe also admitted how massive a player Allan Saint-Maximin is and their desire to keep him at Saint James’ Park, but he shared that such decisions are a necessity sometimes.

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

“The supporters love him and we love him. If he does go, it will be a really difficult moment for all of us.”

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