Why Newcastle are poised to land Allan Saint-Maximin as second signing

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NICE winger Allan Saint-Maximin is set to become Steve Bruce’s second major signing as Newcastle boss.

Having been given the go-ahead from Toon owner Mike Ashley to strengthen the squad, Bruce is closing in on the French flyer following his record-breaking £40m swoop for Joelinton.

Newcastle have already had a £14m bid for the 22-year-old turned down but with the player himself having told team-mates he’s keen on a move to Tyneside, they are confident of getting their man with an improved bid.

Bruce had seen midfield as an area which needed strengthening before the transfer window closes.

However, Isaac Hayden is now willing to stay having previously told former manager Rafa Benitez he wanted a move for personal reasons.

With Jonjo Shelvey believing he can relaunch his Newcastle career under Bruce and the club determined to fight off interest from Manchester United for Sean Longstaff, the new boss feels there is no pressing need to sign another midfielder.

The Old Trafford club are weighing up a £30m bid for Longstaff, who only made his Premier League debut on Boxing Day last year.

However, the 21-year-old certainly isn’t letting the attention get to his head, claiming he doesn’t yet feel an established first teamer at his hometown club let alone one of the most sought-after youngsters in the country.

He said: “I’ve played games but you see others who’ve played hundreds of games in the league. That’s probably when I’d feel like “yeah, I’m a proper first teamer.’

“It sounds stupid, but “will I be able to play for Newcastle again?”

Sean Longstaff

“I still see myself as the same boring person who will go to football, come home, lie on the settee and fall  asleep.”

Longstaff is hoping for another run-out at Preston this weekend after recovering from the knee injury he sustained at West Ham in March when he was on the verge of an England call-up.

The Geordie revealed that after damaging ligaments in a challenge with Robert Snodgrass, he even feared his fledgling career at St James’ Park could be over.

“A million things started running through my mind,” he told the club’s official website.

“What is it? How bad is it?” And, it sounds stupid, but “will I be able to play for Newcastle again?”

“That was honestly one of the things in my head.”

Such dark thoughts are firmly in the past and now Longstaff is looking to build on his excellent start.

He added: “My life completely changed in those two months I was in the team. They were the best two months of my life so far.

“The last 12 months have been crazy, one thing after another.

“Every time I see myself on telly, I still think it’s really weird. I am still getting used to it.”

Newcastle are also poised to sign former Chelsea youngster Kyle Scott, 21, on a two-year-deal.

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