Magpies star set for exit as Newcastle hope to seal Harvey Barnes deal

Magpies star set for exit as Newcastle hope to seal Harvey Barnes deal

Newcastle owners PIF have green-lit move to sister club in Saudi Pro League

Al Ahli have emerged as club who want the French winger
Deal for Saint-Maximin would allow Newcastle to try and push through Harvey Barnes transfer

Newcastle United owners PIF have green-lit Allan Saint-Maximin’s move to Saudi Arabia and are now working to finalise a deal to bring Harvey Barnes to St James’ Park, 90min understands.

90min exclusively revealed at the start of the month that Saint-Maximin was a target for the Saudi Pro League, which PIF are heavily involved with given they now run their four biggest clubs – Al Ittihad, Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Al Ahli, and it is the latter who are in talks for him.

Newcastle confirmed on Tuesday that Saint-Maximin was not involved in their trip to Rangers and Eddie Howe revealed after their 2-1 win at Ibrox that the winger is in talks over a transfer.

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

Allan Saint-Maximin set to leave Newcastle this summer

“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.”

Newcastle, who so far this summer have only signed AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali, are having to contend with Financial Fair Play issues. Sources from around the Premier League have told 90min that the North East club are under more scrutiny from relevant authorities than other sides due to PIF’s ownership and so are having to ensure they don’t make any errors.

Newcastle ideally want to bring in another three or four new faces this window, but they have been struggling to offload a number of their squad players who are taking up a big chunk of the wage budget. This means other players, like Saint-Maximin, need to be sold to fund other deals – in this case, their move for Leicester City’s Barnes.

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

“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.”

Newcastle made a move for Barnes at the start of this month and talks are now progressing. They are looking to finalise a fee of around £35m with Leicester and are hopeful that they will seal his signature.

West Ham United had been in talks with Barnes and Leicester, but have been unable to come to agreement and now Newcastle are confident they can win the race. Barnes is a player that Howe has wanted for some time, as previously revealed by 90min.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.