Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle star receives Eddie Howe praise for covert operation to help Magpies sign Man Utd, Tottenham target

Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton

Eddie Howe has jokingly thanked Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin for his attempts to get a World Cup player to join the club.

Saint-Maximin has managed one goal and three assists in seven Premier League appearances so far this season. He has looked sharp when he has played, although he has been held back by injuries. Hamstring and muscle problems have kept him out for eight league matches.

Ahead of Newcastle’s game against Leicester on Boxing Day, Howe admitted it has been a ‘disaster’ when Saint-Maximin has been out of the squad due to his ‘unique’ style of play. The attacker is back in the mix now though and will be pushing to play against the Foxes, Howe says.

While Saint-Maximin has been working hard behind the scenes to return to the pitch, he has also been busy trying to get one of his compatriots to join Newcastle.

Saint-Maximin recently revealed his approach to Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram. The striker, who put in some impressive performances for France at the World Cup, will become a free agent next summer and is expected to leave Gladbach in January.

During an interview with the Shields Gazette, Saint-Maximin said: “He [Thuram] is a great player and I hope we have a chance to take him here. Yeah, I will be honest, I have chatted with him.

“For me, he’s a great player. I’ve known this guy a long time. I’ve been playing football with him when I was very young. I know all his family. He has great parents. He’s an incredible guy.”

Howe has now joked about Saint-Maximin’s conversations with Thuram, thanking the Newcastle man for his work.

Eddie Howe responds to covert Saint-Maximin operation

“Well done, Maxi!” Howe said (via talkSPORT). “He [Thuram] is a top player. But yeah, no more than that.

“He’s one that I watched in the World Cup for sure but no more than that.”

While Howe is remaining silent about the Newcastle transfer links, various reports have put the Magpies on Thuram’s trail.

And on December 21, German outlet Bild claimed senior Newcastle officials to be ‘wrapping up’ a deal with Gladbach for the striker. They were said to be in negotiations over the transfer fee, as Gladbach want €12million (£10.5m) but Newcastle are only willing to pay just under £10m.

A transfer agreement is yet to be reached, but one could soon be announced if Bild’s information is true.

Newcastle signing Thuram would be a real statement of intent. He is reportedly on the radars of top Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal. So for Newcastle to get him first would show they mean business and are now part of a ‘top seven’ in the Premier League.

Newcastle getting a new striker makes complete sense, too. Alexander Isak is their long-term option in the position, while Callum Wilson and Chris Wood are both 30 or above. Therefore, Newcastle need someone to partner Isak for the long run, and Thuram appears to be a great option.

Meanwhile, Newcastle and West Ham have joined the hunt for a Morocco World Cup sensation, as per reports.