Saint-Maximin hailed by Howe for trying to steal Thuram from Liverpool

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Liverpool face a battle to beat Newcastle to the signing of France World Cup ace Marcus Thuram in January, as the Borussia Monchengladbach man has been urged to join his compatriot Allan Saint-Maximin at St James’ Park instead, who was praised for the role he has been playing in the potential transfer. The Bundesliga forward is out of contract at the end of the season, and could be a coup for his next club after impressing in Qatar.

Thuram came off the bench five times at the World Cup to provide two assists and while clubs can sign the 25-year-old on a free transfer at the end of the season, it is thought that the Bundesliga side are willing to sell him in January. Both Newcastle and Liverpool have been linked with a move to bring him to the Premier League this season, and Saint-Maximin has been convincing him to join the forward at the Magpies.

“He is a great player and I hope we have a chance to take him here,” Saint-Maximin told The Shields Gazette. “I was so happy for him [to play at the World Cup]. Yeah, I will be honest, I have chatted with him.

“For me, he’s a great player. I’ve known this guy a long time. I’ve been playing football with him when I was very young. I know all his family. He has great parents. He’s an incredible guy.”

During his pre-match press conference ahead of Newcastle’s Boxing Day trip to Leicester, Eddie Howe told Saint-Maximin “well done” for attempting to convince Thuram to join, but did not reveal any details of a potential deal to sign the Frenchman. “Oooft! Well done Maxi,” Howe said. “He’s a top player but no more than that. He was one of the ones I watched in the World Cup, but no more than that.”

Howe’s side are reportedly closing in on a deal to sign Thuram according to German outlet Bild, though they remain slightly apart on the transfer fee. Gladbach are looking for £10.5million to sell Thuram in January, though Newcastle are slightly under that fee and have offered £10m. Though the report claims that the two sides are keen on concluding the deal and a compromise should be reached in the coming days.

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Thuram had emerged as a potential Liverpool target and due to injuries to their forward line, a low-cost January deal could make sense for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Both Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota are not expected to return to the team before January, while Roberto Firmino is also struggling with an injury and is expected to miss the festive fixtures.

Thuram could provide short-term relief and a budget option going forward for the Reds, who have suffered from injuries as their lack of strength in depth has been highlighted, but they will face a battle with Newcastle to sign him.

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