Exclusive - Newcastle remain keen on striking a deal with Nice for winger Allan Saint-Maximin before deadline day, with the two clubs locked in negotiations over a fee.

The 22-year-old scored six goals and contributed five assists in 36 Ligue 1 appearances last season, helping his side finish comfortably inside the top ten.

​Newcastle have been interested in Saint-Maximin for some time, and it's 90min's understanding that the Magpies are confident a transfer can be concluded before the end of the month.

Nice are holding out for a fee of £20m, but Newcastle are ideally looking to lower the French side down to £18m - having already seen a £14m bid earlier in the transfer window rejected.

New manager Steve Bruce has already broken the club's transfer record to sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim for £35m, but he is keen to continue strengthening his frontline options to replace the departed Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon.

Steve Bruce

Perez has joined ​Premier League rivals Leicester, while Rondon has joined Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang - where he'll reunite with former manager Rafa Benitez - after a successful loan spell at St James' Park.

Bruce has admitted that talks are underway between the two parties, but he remained coy in a recent press conference when pressed on how close a deal was. In quotes carried by ​The Sun, he said: "I don’t think it’s on the verge of happening. 

"It’s somebody we have looked at, it’s somebody we have identified. We’ll see what happens."


Watford were also keen on completing a deal for French Under-21 international Saint-Maximin, but they have switched their attentions to Rennes' Ismaila Sarr instead - leaving the coast clear for Newcastle to wrap up their second signing of the summer.