Newcastle United co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi has reportedly had a private chat with Allan Saint-Maximin to convince him to remain at St. James’ Park amidst Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in his services.
Saint-Maximin joined the Magpies’ from OGC Nice in 2019 and in that time, has been one of the club’s best players. His performances – alongside a few others – have counted a lot for why the club has stayed this long despite the shabby seasons they have had since returning to the Premier League in the 2017/18 season.
His performances have now caught the attention of 10-time French Ligue 1 champions PSG, who are reported to be preparing an approach to the player’s entourage ahead of a summer transfer move.
This has also led Newcastle co-owner Ghodoussi to step in directly and promise the 25-year-old a sporting project that is centred around his incredible talent.
The Magpies were acquired this season by a consortium made up of PCP Capital Partners, RB Sports and Media (Reuben brothers) and the Saudi Arabia state-run Public Investment Fund (PIF). In that time, they have overseen a change in fortunes for the club who was destined to be in the Championship next season.
Since the turn of the year, the investment from the consortium led by the Saudi-backed PIF and the appointment of Eddie Howe as manager has seen the club eke out wins before going on a major run of 10 from the last 14.
They now sit in ninth place after starting the year in the relegation places. This has now put Newcastle back in the spotlight and has made them attractive to players, and that means the new owners will be able to build a better squad ahead of next season.
Ghodoussi, Amanda Stavely’s husband and partner at PCP Capital Partners, is reported by The Mirror to have promised Saint-Maximin a new contract despite his current one having four years left, a salary bump, and signings which he would approve of.
PSG have rich owners as well, so it remains to be seen whose economic proposal convinces Saint-Maximin more. The prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and possibly Kylian Mbappe could also be too tempting for Saint-Maximin to pass on.
Elsewhere, Paul Scholes has praised Newcastle as a whole for the upturn in their form, but singled out Saint-Maximin’s strike partner Joelinton for praise.
The Brazilian has struggled since joining the club in 2020 but has become a different player under Eddie Howe this season, who has deployed him mostly as a second striker, an inverted winger or as an attacking midfielder.
He scored two goals on Saturday to further cement Newcastle’s chances of a top half finish this season away at Norwich and Scholes waxed lyrical about his transformation as overseen by Eddie Howe this season.
“If you have ever seen a player turnaround his career at a club, I have never seen anything like this,” said Scholes after the match. “He was dead and buried playing as a centre-forward.
“Then Eddie brought him in as a midfield player and he’s even scoring goals now. What a goal that is (his first). What a great finish.
“Then he is getting on the end of things (second goal), as well as being industrious in the centre of the pitch.
“He (Murphy) did get a little fortune here, a little lucky, he’s going for goal and then Joelinton finishes it well with his left foot.”