Allan Saint-Maximin: Winger leaves Newcastle for Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia.
Allan Saint-Maximin has left Newcastle United to join Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia for an unknown price.
The 26-year-old French forward is the fourth high-profile signing for the Saudi Arabian champions this summer.
They have also signed Premier League players Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, and Edouard Mendy.
Saint-Maximin, who joined Newcastle from Nice in 2019 and has 12 Premier League goals in 111 outings, has agreed to a four-year contract.
Saint-Maximin confirmed his departure from Newcastle with an emotional social media message on Saturday, stating his “greatest trophy” was playing for the club.
“We pick the best, and he’s one of them,” Al-Ahli wrote on the messaging app X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, which also owns Newcastle, manages Al-Ahli.
According to reports, rival Premier League clubs are concerned that Saint-Maximin’s transfer fee, which has not been disclosed, may have been exaggerated to help Newcastle meet Financial Fair Play criteria.
However, manager Howe has stated that the sale to Saudi Arabia “will satisfy the Premier League,” while the league’s chief executive Richard Masters maintains that the league’s criteria are “robust.”
Newcastle sports director Dan Ashworth stated last year that the club must be willing to trade players in order to meet budget constraints.
Howe was able to sign Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan for £55 million this summer, as well as English winger Harvey Barnes from Leicester City for £38 million.