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Transfer Talk: Magpies entertainer Saint-Maximin set to fly nest
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Dan Fitch
Allan Saint-Maximin is reported to be joining Al-Ahli
Allan Saint-Maximin is reported to be joining Al-Ahli

Allan Saint-Maximin looks set to leave Newcastle this summer.

Magpies' manager Eddie Howe has revealed that the 26-year-old is in talks with another club, with reports claiming that he is headed to Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League. 

The winger has been a fan favourite at St James' Park, where he has played for the last four seasons. 

Ahead of the new Premier League campaign, we take a look at the reasons behind Saint-Maximin's sale and what it means for his career. 

Howe confirmation

After Newcastle's pre-season friendly victory over Rangers, Howe confirmed Saint-Maximin was in talks over an exit. 

He said: "He's in early discussions over a potential move away. That's why he wasn't here. 

"I wouldn't say it's been forced upon us, but I think with Financial Fair Play it's been forced upon us to a degree. 

"We could make a stance to not sell Maxi, but then we wouldn't be in a position where we could recruit Sandro [Tonali], so our hands would've been tied. 

"We knew this summer that we had to trade and it looks like it will happen, but we don't know. 

Allan Saint-Maximin does not get involved much in his own half
Allan Saint-Maximin does not get involved much in his own half

"It's difficult for me to comment on what Allan wants, all I know is we've had conversations together. 

"I respect him immensely and I hope he feels the same way about me and about the football club. 

"There's no issue between us. We've had a really helpful relationship from day one. 

"But sometimes these things have to happen for the club to grow and for Allan to experience something different." 

Place lost

The sight of Saint-Maximin dribbling down the wing was one of the few reasons for Newcastle fans to be cheerful during the final dark days of Mike Ashley's ownership. 

When new owners took charge in 2021 — transforming the finances of the club — the Frenchman looked like one of the few players with the ability to thrive under the new regime. 

Yet though he remained a regular starter in the 2021-22 campaign, he lost his place last season. 

In part this was down to persistent injuries, but the signings of Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and the emergence of Joelinton as an option on the wing, also restricted Saint-Maximin's opportunities. 

With reports claiming that Newcastle have agreed a fee with Leicester for Harvey Barnes, Howe will have even more options on the wings. 

All of this has seen Saint-Maximin become surplus to requirements and a saleable asset in a summer in which the Premier League club must balance their FFP position. 

Potential unfulfilled

Allan Saint-Maximin could soon be playing alongside Roberto Firmino
Allan Saint-Maximin could soon be playing alongside Roberto Firmino

Reports claim that Newcastle could receive as much as £30million plus add-ons for Saint-Maximin. 

With the fee for Barnes said to be £38m, it is a small extra outlay for a more productive player. 

Saint-Maximin scored 13 goals in 124 games for Newcastle. Barnes netted the same amount last season in just 34 Premier League appearances. 

Yet there remains the feeling that the France Under-21s international has been sold without his full potential having been shown. 

Not many players can run with the ball at the pace of the flying winger, who will now grace the Saudi Pro League. 

Al-Ahli have just won promotion from the Saudi First Division League and Saint-Maximin is linking up with fellow Premier League recruits Roberto Firmino and Edouard Mendy in a talented squad.


Newcastle UnitedPremier LeagueAl AhliSaudi Pro League (SPL)Allan Saint-Maximin
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