Nice forward Allan Saint-Maximin has told his team-mates that he wants to sign for Newcastle United this summer, according to the Daily Star.
The newspaper claims that Steve Bruce is closing in on a deal for the 22-year-old Frenchman and are confident of pulling off the transfer despite having a £14million bid rejected by Nice.
The Daily Star adds that Mike Ashley has given Bruce the greenlight to strengthen his squad before the start of next season and Newcastle have already wrapped up a £40million swoop for Brazilian striker Joelinton from Hoffenheim.
If Saint-Maximin is keen on joining Newcastle then there is a very good chance that Bruce will be able to finalise this deal soon enough. Nice were never going to accept the Magpies’ opening bid of £14million. Saint-Maximin still has another three years remaining on his contract at the Ligue 1 club so they are not under any massive pressure to offload the France Under-21 international, who was a first-team regular for them last season by appearing 36 times across all competitions. In those appearances, the former Saint-Etienne forward scored six goals and supplied five assists. Newcastle need someone who can play in the positions that Saint-Maximin can so getting this deal completed is an important one. Newcastle fans have to be slightly concerned about their club’s record of signing players from Ligue 1 in recent years. Florian Thauvin, Remy Cabella and Sylvain Marveaus are just three French flops that come to mind.