Northern Echo journalist Paul Fraser has accused Nice of potential “gamesmanship” as Newcastle United reportedly aim to sign Allan Saint-Maximin.
According to the Northern Echo, the Magpies are closing in on a £20million swoop for the 22-year-old French forward.
However Nice confirmed via their official website on Friday that Saint-Maximin has been included in their squad to play against Championship side Cardiff City in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
It means that over this weekend Saint-Maximin will be in the UK as Newcastle press on with trying to sign him.
When asked why Saint-Maximin is in the Nice squad despite reportedly being close to joining the Magpies, Fraser claimed via his personal Twitter account that the player and the clubs want the deal to go through and suggested that it was a deliberate effort by Nice to speed things up.
All I’ve been told is that this is a deal that everyone knows can happen and the players wants it to. Nice including him in the squad is probably a bit of gamesmanship on their part.
— Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) July 26, 2019
Saint-Maximin’s inclusion in the squad, as Fraser says, should not be a concern for Newcastle’s supporters, although it does seem as though Nice are trying to add some urgency to the transfer talks. They can’t be blamed because Newcastle have dragged their heels in the past over deals like this and rather than waiting until later in the summer, Nice would understandably want to cash in on the 22-year-old forward now so they have plenty of time to replace him. Saint-Maximin is heading to the UK this weekend so that, in a way, could be seen as a boost for Newcastle. Although his team-mates will be heading to Cardiff, there’s a chance that the Frenchman could separate from them and go to Tyneside for talks, medicals and whatever else needs to be done before the move is completed. Newcastle don’t seem to be in a rush to get this deal done which suggests they are confident.