Newcastle: PIF 'looked at signing' £60m sensation at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United really tried to sign someone who can “pick the lock” during the summer transfer window, says journalist Dean Jones.

The Magpies have struggled in the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin, showing that they very well could have done with Moussa Diaby or James Maddison, who were both recent targets for the club.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

How have Newcastle fared without Saint-Maximin this season?

Saint-Maximin is arguably Newcastle’s most dangerous player. The 25-year-old came up with a goal and two assists in his last two games against Wolves and Manchester City before picking up a hamstring injury that has sidelined him.

There is no doubt that his unavailability has had a negative impact on the team, who failed to score against Crystal Palace and needed a penalty to register against Bournemouth in his absence.

“I think there’s a massive hole for someone like Maxi in a game like today, when you’re playing against a stubborn opponent and you need a bit of magic to unlock the door,” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said (via MailOnline) after the 1-1 draw with the Cherries at St James’ Park.

“You’re never going to replace Allan so we have to find a different way. I still believe we can win and be a very effective team without him, just very different.”

What has Jones said about Newcastle?

Jones has told GIVEMESPORT that Newcastle really did want to sign another creative player like Diaby.

Speaking to GMS, the transfer insider said: “We know that one of the keys to the transfer market was trying to sign a guy that could pick the lock, and that’s why they were looking at people like Moussa Diaby. I’m not sure they found that perfect player in the window, to be honest.”

Will Newcastle return for Diaby or Maddison?

Diaby was an individual who Newcastle were extremely keen on. According to The Telegraph, the Tyneside outfit felt he would have been an excellent addition to their squad but were put off by Bayer Leverkusen’s £60m asking price.

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And it was a similar story with Maddison. As per The Guardian, they wanted the 25-year-old and made a bid of £50m for his services. However, like Leverkusen, Leicester City were holding out for a fee closer to £60m, which PIF seemingly did not want to pay.

Looking at how they have struggled without Saint-Maximin, though, it would not be a surprise to see them go back in for Diaby or Maddison.

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