Steve Bruce changes tune on potential signing Allan Saint-Maximin
Early last week it looked as though both Stanley N’Soki and Allan Saint-Maximin would quickly be joining up with their new Newcastle teammates.
However, with only eight days until transfer deadline and Newcastle’s squad looking woefully weak, with half a dozen players going out and only one in, there appears no urgency being shown at all.
The deals for both players are claimed to still having talks going on but one big problem with the two potential signings – money.
Mike Ashley so far refusing to pay the necessary wages to land the 20 year old PSG left-back, whilst it is the transfer fee asking price that the NUFC owner is so far unwilling to pay.
We are already surely past the point of any new signing apart from Joelinton being involved against Arsenal on the first day, as they would have only a limited number of days training with the rest of the squad even if now signed ASAP and Saturday is the last pre-season friendly which would come too soon for any involvement.
So will any bodies be dragged across the line at all?
After last night’s 3-1 win at Hibernian, Steve Brice was asked about certain players linked with NUFC.
On Allan Saint-Maximan:
“I am never going to speak about any player until the deal is done.
“So I really can’t comment on that.”
The recently installed Head Coach clearly changing his tune, as only a week ago when asked about the Nice winger, Steve Bruce replied:
“I don’t think it’s on the verge of happening.
“It’s somebody we have looked at.
“It’s somebody we have identified.
“We’ll see what happens.”
It sounds like maybe he has had a word in his ear from Mike Ashley or one of his minions, warned against speaking about transfer targets.
As for the 22 year old winger, after having previous being left out of a previous friendly when a Newcastle deal seemed imminent, he has now featured in two games in quick succession.
On Saturday he got just over 20 minutes in a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff.
Whilst last night, as Newcastle won in Scotland, Nice and Allan Saint-Maximin were getting hammered 6-1.
The winger did get the consolation goal when forcing the ball over the line from only inches out, Nice already 5-0 down at the time.
Burnley’s crushing friendly win against a decent Nice side is another wake up call as to the challenge that lies ahead this season for Newcastle.
Indeed, also interesting to see what the official Burnley match report had to say about our winger target:
‘At the other end, flying winger Allan Saint-Maximin saw plenty of the ball without ever being able to get the better of Bardsley.
And when Bardsley and Arron Lennon and Arron Lennon dis-possessed the France international, Lennon fed Woods for a hat-trick chance denied him by Yoan Cardinale’s sharp save.’
Allan Saint-Maximin does look to have talent but this is a reminder that any new signing will likely need to time to get up to speed in the Premier League and shows the folly of not making any real effort to sign players and give them a pre-season at Newcastle. A bit of a worry as well that he struggled to get any joy against 34 year old plodder Phil Bardsley.
Steve Bruce was also asked about Rangers wing-back James Tavernier:
“I really don’t know where that came from.
“I hate it when people talk abut my players, so I’m not going to comment on anybody else’s.”
Once again forgetting about his Allan Saint-Maximin comments last week.
I just don’t see how anybody thinks the Tavernier story is credible, whether he is PL level or not, there is no way Mike Ashley would pay £10m or so for a player he practically gave away only a few years ago.
There has been talk of Ciaran Clark going to Palace for £5m and Bruce also responded to that;
“That is not going to happen at the moment. We are playing with three centre-backs and with Leujene injured we’ll only have four, so I don’t think that’s going to happen.
“I explained the situation to Ciaran and he understood that totally.”
With this threadbare squad, centre-back is one of the very few areas where Newcastle are strong and unless a replacement was going to be signed, no way any potentially useful player should be sold.
Last night’s injury to Matt Ritchie summing up just how few credible options there are in the squad, once you get past the obvious.
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