Saint-Maximin confirms Newcastle exit ahead of expected Saudi move

Saint-Maximin confirms Newcastle exit ahead of expected Saudi move
The move comes amidst a spending spree by Saudi clubs, with Sadio Mane the most recent player to be rumored to move to the league.
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Allan Saint-Maximin posted a heartfelt message to Newcastle fans on his Instagram account [Getty]

Allan Saint-Maximin has confirmed he is to leave Newcastle before an expected move to the cash-rich Saudi Pro League.

The French winger, heavily linked with a £30 million ($38.5 million) move to Al-Ahli, posted a farewell message on his Instagram account.

In it he professes his love for the Premier League club and reflects on their journey from relegation strugglers to last season's impressive fourth-placed finish.

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Newcastle, managed by Eddie Howe, have splashed the cash since the club's Saudi-backed owners took charge in October 2021.

Saint-Maximin, 26, said: "I fell for Newcastle, I had great opportunities to leave during dark days, but that was too late. I was already in love, I wanted, I needed, I had to stay for helping my team to save the club from Premier League relegation because it meant the world for me."

"Of course during those dark days some may have had their doubts, but I always believed in this club and look where we are today, it's just so beautiful. I'm leaving Newcastle as it should always have been and that's my greatest trophy because I was a part of it."

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Saint-Maximin has made 124 appearances for the club and scored 13 goals since joining from Nice in 2019.

A growing list of high-profile players have moved to Saudi Arabia.

Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and Edouard Mendy have already signed for Al-Ahli, while Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson and N'Golo Kante have also joined Pro League clubs in recent weeks.