L’Équipe report that Premier League side Newcastle United have delved back into the race for 22-year-old French youth international and OGC Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin after Les Aiglons dropped their asking price from €40m to €25m.
The reason for this decision on the part of Nice is said to be two-fold: the first is that manager Patrick Vieira wants rid of the player as soon as possible, falling out spectacularly with “ASM” over his lack of commitment, on-pitch selfishness and missing work-rate towards the end of the last campaign.
Secondly, OGC Nice want to found two attacking signings which will cost around €25m before Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of the club officially goes through at the beginning of next month. Those are the arrival of Sofiane Boufal from Southampton, which is a quasi-done deal in terms of the player’s wants, and FC Lorient’s 21-year-old attacker Alexis Claude-Maurice.
From the Magpies end of things, Director General Lee Charnley is willing to offer around €15m for the player. Les Aiglons are unlikely to budge from their new asking price as AS Monaco have a 20% sell-on fee percentage clause which they will take from any transfer.
Watford, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have all been in contact for ASM in recent weeks, and it is not impossible that a bidding war begins as the Premier League transfer deadline comes closer.