Newcastle ‘want more’ after turning down a €25m bid from Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli for Allan Saint-Maximin.
Al Ahli have made an approach to sign the winger who struggled for a regular role under Eddie Howe last season, with Saint-Maximin starting just 12 times in the Premier League.
Saint-Maximin missed Newcastle’s friendly win at Rangers on Tuesday as the clubs negotiate a potential deal, but the Magpies ‘want more’ than the opening offer from Al Ahli.
Eddie Howe discussed Saint-Maximin’s future after the friendly with Rangers and confirmed the winger was in talks to leave the club.
“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. 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.”
Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Newcastle will hold out for a higher fee, though negotiations are ‘advancing’ to a crucial stage.
Al Ahli are the reigning champions of The Saudi Pro League and have strengthened their squad this summer with a number of high-profile signings, including former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino and ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Newcastle are confident that the club will complete a deal to sign Harvey Barnes from Leicester as a replacement for Saint-Maximin, with the Magpies leading Aston Villa and West Ham in the race to sign the 25-year-old from the relegated Foxes.