Newcastle are ready to go all out to sign Barcelona winger Raphinha this summer, and his arrival would likely spell the end for a fan favourite who already feels threatened, per a report.
Speculation has begun to grow Allan Saint-Maximin may leave St. James’ Park at season’s end. The maverick Frenchman is adored on Tyneside, though despite being unplayable on his day, has fallen out of favour this term.
Indeed, Miguel Almiron has locked up the right wing when fit and available. Saint-Maximin has been afforded his fair share of minutes on the left, though has made just 11 league starts this term.
TEAMtalk previously learned Saint-Maximin’s camp have called upon the Magpies to reward the winger with a new deal. However, Newcastle have not been receptive to his plea for a pay-rise and additional years on his existing deal that runs until 2025.
As such, we understand Newcastle will not stand in his way regarding an exit and will actively listen to offers if any arrive.
talkSPORT later echoed our claims, adding the £45m arrival of Anthony Gordon has left Saint-Maximin feeling the heat. talkSPORT also declared Newcastle are ‘ready to cash in’.
Gordon has barely got a look-in so far, though £45m signings aren’t made to sit on the bench. As such, Gordon is likely to feature more heavily next season and beyond.
Given Newcastle are on course for a European campaign next year, a Saint-Maximin sale would only make sense if his firepower in the forward ranks were replaced.
Newcastle must not enter a season in which their free midweeks will be filled with fewer top-level faces than they have right now.
To that end, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo report Newcastle are lining up an audacious move for Barcelona’s Raphinha.
The 26-year-old only left Leeds Utd to join the Catalonians last summer. His first season at the Camp Nou has been satisfactory, with nine goals and a further nine assists notched in 41 matches.
However, it could be a one and done for Raphinha in Spain with Mundo Deportivo talking up a move to Newcastle. The Magpies have Raphinha ‘in their sights’ and ‘will spare no expense’ when it comes to ‘high-level’ additions this summer.
Aiding Newcastle’s cause is Barcelona’s ongoing financial strife. The LaLiga giant must reduce their salary by a whopping €200m ahead of next season and the report states around €100m must be generated in player sales.
Barcelona would much rather sell other, less fancied assets than Raphinha. However, if push comes to shove and offers for alternative stars aren’t tabled, Raphinha could be sacrificed.
Raphinha was signed for around €65m (including add-ons) last year. It stands to reason Barca would hope to recoup the full amount and receive a small profit on top too.
One slight wrinkle in the ointment is the claim Raphinha has been miffed when asked to play on the left flank by Xavi this term.
Raphinha much prefers to cut inside from the right flank and onto his lethal left foot. However, doing so at Newcastle would put him in direct competition with Almiron who has been Eddie Howe’s best winger regardless of flank this season.