Saint-Maximin move to Saudi

Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United
Allan Saint-Maximin scored one goal in 25 Premier League appearances for Newcastle last season

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe says Allan Saint-Maximin’s anticipated transfer to a Saudi Arabian team “will satisfy the Premier League”.

The French winger, 26, is expected to join Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League, run by the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – which owns Newcastle.

Reports have claimedexternal-link that rival Premier League clubs are concerned that his transfer fee could be inflated.

That would help Newcastle comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

“The likelihood is that he will leave,” Howe said.

The Premier League checks transfers to ensure players are sold for their appropriate market value.

On the question of whether Newcastle would benefit from the sale, Howe said: “We are governed on the same rules like every other Premier League club in regard of deals.

“We will, I’m sure, fit every criteria needed to make sure the deal is above board and done properly.

“I’m sure it will satisfy the Premier League.”

Howe confirmed last week that Saint-Maximin, who joined Newcastle in 2019, was in transfer talks with an unnamed Saudi Pro League side.

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth acknowledged last year that despite having access to funds to buy players, they must be open to selling players in order to comply with spending regulations.

Wolves’ Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves became the first Premier League player to move to the Saudi Pro League this summer after the PIF took over four of the country’s top teams.

A number of high-profile players, such as Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Liverpool’s Roberto Firminio, have followed suit.

Howe added: “I don’t think it [the Saudi Pro League] has directly impacted us until this moment with Allan.

“Before then we were looking from afar and were seeing a lot of very good players moving to a new league.

“It’s an interesting dynamic that we haven’t had for a long time.

“Allan’s deal brings us into play and we become involved in that but it will be no different from any other club signing a player that we have. We have a value on his head and that value was met.”

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