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Allan Saint-Maximin missing as Newcastle travel to Glasgow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jul 2023

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Newcastle frontman Allan Saint-Maximin was missing from the party which headed to Glasgow for Tuesday night’s friendly against Rangers amid speculation he could leave the club this summer.

Rumours have suggested the 26-year-old Frenchman, who joined the Magpies in a £16million move from Nice in August 2019, is a target for a Saudi Pro League club with some reports naming Al-Ahli as potential buyers.

The PA news agency understands Saint-Maximin, who earlier this summer posted a message on social media in which he said he was “entering a turning point in my career and I will give everything until the end to achieve my dreams”, will not be involved at Ibrox as his future is thrashed out.

Newcastle, who are 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, remain in negotiations with relegated Leicester over winger Harvey Barnes, but are being hampered by the constraints imposed by Financial Fair Play regulations after investing in excess of £300million in the last four transfer windows.

Head coach Eddie Howe has insisted he does not want to lose any of his senior players and name-checked Saint-Maximin in his post-match comments after Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Gateshead amid ongoing speculation.

However, the crowd favourite is one of the few players inherited by Howe who would command a sizeable fee and with frustration mounting at the lack of tangible progress since the £53million capture of AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali earlier this month, the 45-year-old is having to brace himself.

Despite the wealth of their owners and the new revenue stream they have opened up by qualifying for next season’s Champions League, the Magpies are having to be creative to avoid breaching financial rules with the their wage bill also a concern.

Howe has repeatedly insisted he wants to strengthen, not weaken his squad this summer, but has been equally keen to highlight the restrictions under which the club would have to work.

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