Newcastle United have fallen behind in the race to sign OGC Nice forward Allan Saint-Maximin, according to France Football.
The online football outlet have claimed that Premier League rivals Watford have taken pole position in the hunt to sign the 22-year-old.
France Football report that despite Newcastle having been close to an agreement, Watford have directly contacted the French attacker’s representatives.
Saint-Maximin was only involved in nine goals last season in 36 appearances, scoring six and assisting a further three goals, as his side finished seventh in Ligue 1.
Crystal Palace and Everton are also in the race to sign the Frenchman managed by Patrick Vieira, according to Nice-Matin.
Although missing out on Saint-Maximin may seem like another defeat for Newcastle fans, it may not be the worse news possible should the Frenchman choose a move to Watford over the North East. The only downside would be the fact that the club is screaming out for attacking options, especially after losing Ayoze Perez to Leicester, with the BBC reporting a figure of £30million being received. Only being involved in nine goals, despite playing on 36 occasions is a poor conversion rate of almost one goal every three games. Saint-Maximin does, however, average 1.7 key passes per game he plays, which could suggest he does get into dangerous areas more often than not to be let down by his teammates in front of goal. The 22-year-old does also attempt 4.2 dribbles each outing, with an average of 3.6 bad touches being added to that showing his lack of cutting edge when given the ball. [WhoScored] Magpies’ fans might not want to hear it now, but missing out on this OGC Nice winger, could be a blessing in disguise.