The French publication claims that the Magpies have already made an official approach for the 22-year-old, who seems destined to leave Patrick Vieira’s side this summer.
However, the Ligue 1 side clearly wanted a bit more money from Steve Bruce’s team, perhaps realising that the Toon boss is really keen on the player.
Downie says that the winger is available for around £20million, and so it seems as if Newcastle have just decided to test the water here with a bid slightly below what Nice want for the player. Perhaps they are looking to pay a smaller amount up front and then reach the full amount with add ons, who knows? Either way, their first foray for the Frenchman has clearly been turned down and so they are back to the drawing board now. Clearly Bruce likes the player and fancies bringing him to St James’ Park, but it’s whether he likes him enough to spend the sort of money Nice want for him. That’s the big question and it’s one that the Newcastle boss will presumably be answering soon. Saint-Maximin is clearly a talented boy, but there’s also clear deficiencies in his game that make spending £20million on him a risky proposition. So you can see why the Magpies chanced their arm with a lower offer, but it seems they’ll have to pay the full valuation if they really want the Nice star.