Saint-Maximin in talks over Newcastle exit

Saint-Maximin in talks over Newcastle exit

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Allan Saint-Maximin
Allan Saint-Maximin has made 124 appearances for Newcastle in all competitions, scoring 13 goals

Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin is in transfer talks with an unnamed club as Eddie Howe acknowledged the “impact” of Financial Fair Play on the Magpies.

Saint-Maximin, 26, missed Newcastle’s 2-1 friendly win at Rangers, and Howe said he had “no issue” with the player.

“He’s in early discussions over a potential move away. That’s why he wasn’t here,” Howe said.

“It’s doubtful he’ll join us on the tour of America. I don’t think Maxi necessarily wants to leave, but he may feel it’s the right time for him to move.”

Manager Howe added after the game on Tuesday: “It’s difficult for me to speak for him, but he hasn’t asked to leave. There’s been no issue between him and any of us coaches. We all love him.

“If he does leave, we’d lose him with a very heavy heart. He’s someone we love working with, he’s a difference-maker, we’ve really had a strong working relationship, and it’ll be sad if he leaves.”

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth said last year that the club, which has wealthy Saudi owners, must be open to selling players in order to comply with spending restrictions.

Howe has been able to bring in Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan for a reported £55m this summer, but a need to comply with FFP will prevent further arrivals unless the club sell first.

“Maxi is the player that’s generating the interest,” said Howe. “FFP is a new dynamic which really came to the fore after my first window here when we knew it would impact us.

“Player trading is a key part of it – you can’t hit it, if you don’t trade. We’re forced to trade a player this window.

“If the deal didn’t go through, I’d be delighted. It would obviously impact our ability to bring any more players in, and then we potentially might have to sell another player. That’s the way that Financial Fair Play has hit us.”

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