Steve Bruce’s transfer strategy of allowing Managing Director Lee Charnley to handle Newcastle’s activity in the summer market appears to be crumbling already, as L’Equipe via Sport Witness understand the new Toon boss has opposed the signing of OGC Nice forward Allan Saint-Maximin.
The French football publication reported on Monday that the United hierarchy are pushing ahead with plans to sign the Frenchman this summer, after Nice lowered their previous €30m-40million (£29.6m-£35.9m) valuation of the 22-year-old.
Nice have taken their new stance after struggling to find a suitor willing to meet their demands, and boss Patrick Vieira being open to the player’s departure despite knowing his potential as he was not impressed by his attitude last term.
Watford were understood to have positioned themselves strongly regarding a move for the former France U20 international after holding successful discussions with Saint-Maximin’s representatives, but are yet to complete a deal.
As such, Charnley and the Toon hierarchy are ready to open negotiations with Les Aiglons over a €25million (£22.4m) deal, but would prefer to test the waters with an initial €15m (£13.4m) approach.
Bruce, however, is not fully behind the idea of targeting the former Saint-Etienne youth winger-come-striker, as he has not received convincing feedback of the player in general after carrying out a scouting report on Saint-Maximin.
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss also has his own targets in mind should Newcastle be looking to complete raids on Ligue 1 this summer, much like how Rafa Benitez preferred the club targeted the now-Aston Villa striker Wesley Moraes over TSG Hoffenheim’s Joelinton.