Maverick Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin is reportedly closing in on a £23 million move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli after agreeing personal terms over a “huge” proposal.
Allan Saint-Maximin’s move to Al-Ahli is progressing quickly, with the Frenchman’s four-year stay at Newcastle United looking like coming to an end. That is according to a report from Football Insider, which claims that the 26-year-old has agreed the terms ahead of a £23 million move to Saudi club Al-Ahli.
This comes after reports that the Tyneside-based outfit have reluctantly decided to cash in on Saint-Maximin as they seek to bring in additional funds from the sale to boost Eddie Howe’s transfer kitty in the ongoing transfer window.
The two clubs were reported to be in discussion over a potential deal. And now that the Frenchman has given the green light to the move, it is expected to be completed pretty soon.
Having spent well over £300 million net on new signings since the arrival of their Saudi-backed owners, Newcastle United need to make a significant sale this summer to not get stuck in the transfer market due to FFP constraints.
The French winger has been viewed as the club’s “most saleable” asset for a long time now. He was arguably Newcastle’s most important player during his first three seasons on Tyneside. But he lost his prominence in the team last season. And after a frustrating season for Saint-Maximin on a personal level, the timing feels right for all parties to part ways.
It is fascinating that the Magpies are offloading Saint-Maximin. When Newcastle were taken over by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, it was widely assumed that the French winger could be one of the very few players within the wildly underperforming team, who might be able to hang around and be a significant part of the coming revolution.
Instead, his significance has gradually waned as Miguel Almiron, Joelinton, and others have stepped up under Eddie Howe’s impressive coaching methods. Quality and talent are now running through the Newcastle side, which seems to have evolved around him.
He has been at Newcastle since 2019 but has scored just 12 Premier League goals in 111 appearances in the competition, which highlights a lack of end product. Constant injury problems also meant that he lacked any real consistency to perform at the top level week in and week out.
His potential departure in a £23 million deal will free up Newcastle United in the transfer market, with confirmation of Harvey Barnes’s £38 million arrival imminent, and could also help the Magpies bring in more new signings.
Saint-Maximin will be fondly remembered at St. James’ Park. During the final dark days of the Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce eras, he was Newcastle’s beacon of light and used to get fans off their seats. In an ideal scenario, Newcastle would have both Barnes and Saint-Maximin as wide options. Unfortunately, the limitations of Financial Fair Play prevent that from happening, and it is one in, one out instead.
As the transfer window goes on, it will certainly be interesting to see just who else Newcastle moves for. As of right now, though, Barnes represents a smart replacement for Saint-Maximin as the Magpies look to compete on all fronts in the coming campaign under the guidance of Howe.