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Allan Saint-Maximin sold, Bruno going nowhere

Frenchman out, South American staying

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Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Allan Saint-Maximin’s move to Al Ahli from Newcastle United has been finalized in a deal worth nearly $30m, David Ornstein of The Athletic reported on Friday.

Eddie Howe already discussed the deal being on the verge of getting done a few days ago following ASM’s absence from earlier friendlies played by the Magpies.

The 26-year-old winger “successfully completed his medical” with the Saudi Pro League outfit “last week”, and he is now set to join them on “a three-year contract.”

ASM took to his personal social network to share a final farewell message with the Toon Army early Saturday.

Howe acknowledged that talks about the transfer were ongoing with another team without unveiling the identity of such a club. It’s been reported that Saint-Maximin is departing Newcastle “on good terms” and with “the best wishes from everyone associated with the club,” wrote Ornstein.

Although The Athletic reported that several clubs were planning to express concerns to the Premier League regarding the move because of the multi-club ownership conflict between Newcastle and Al Ahli, both under the same PIF owners, the deal is expected to go through.

While Howe expressed reluctance in losing Saint-Maximin, he explained that financial fair play regulations necessitated the sale.

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

Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United: Premier League Summer Series Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for Premier League

Despite the transfer news related to ASM’s sale, Howe remains optimistic about Bruno’s future at Newcastle while speaking to the media on Friday night.

After Newcastale’s last-minute 2-1 victory over Brighton at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., Howe asserted, “There is no doubt in my mind about [Bruno’s] future. We would love Bruno to extend his time with us for a long time.”

The statement comes after the never-ending rumors of Bruno entertaining the possibility of moving away from Newcastle in a future transfer window, perhaps to a larger club such as Real Madrid in Spain.

To that, Howe said ”I’m not a party to [the contract negotiations talks] every day—those talks are ongoing, and Bruno knows how we feel about him. He’s very happy here. We hope there’s a solution to be found.”

The longer Newcastle United can hold onto their best players and assets, the easier it will be for the club in the future to build a strong team while abiding by the FFP rules as the revenue will keep growing steadily.