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Newcastle have been dealt a major transfer blow in their bid to hold talks with Allan Saint-Maximin over a contract extension at St James’ Park. The French winger has been subject of interest from Chelsea and Tottenham – which has reportedly turned his head at the possibility of earning a higher salary.
Prior to deciding to extend his contract, the Magpies were considering offloading the winger to raise funds for their spending this summer in their bid to bolster their squad. With both Spurs and Chelsea having enquired about his availability, reports suggest that his head has been turned over the possibility of earning a greater salary – putting talks over a contract extension on hold.
The Magpies are said to be asking for a fee of over £40million for their winger. And while the club is aware of the 25-year-old’s frustration in regards to his current salary at the club, they are restricted by the wage structure put in place.
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Newcastle have been active in the transfer market, recently agreeing to a £12m deal for Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, with negotiations for Lille’s Sven Botman and Reims’ Hugo Ektike reaching a critical point. Should they fail to land the two, the club is expected to move on to other targets on their wish list.
Eddie Howe is hoping to convince that further additions to his squad will convince the Frenchman to commit his future to St James’ Park. However, the north-east side are restricted to how much they can spend in this window with an eye on financial fair-play.
Last season, Saint-Maximin made 35 appearances under Eddie Howe, scoring five goals and making the same number of assists, heaping praise of the Magpies boss who sees him having a “long-term future” at the club. “I’ve got a great relationship with Maxi,” Howe said.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him and we need him at his very best levels as he could potentially be the difference. He’s an incredible talent and of course he has a long-term future at the club.”
The feeling seems to be mutual between the pair, with the Frenchman stating: “When he [Howe] arrived, he gave us a piece of paper and asked us to write down what we loved in life, the names of our kids, things like that.
“I must have had a minimum of seven or eight managers, and I’ve never seen someone do something like that. Eddie Howe is really strong at building relationship and you can feel it on the pitch, without that, I don’t think we would have managed to climb back up the table like we did.”
The 25-year-old is under contract at the club until the summer of 2026.
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