Newcastle United reportedly bid for France Under-21 international Allan Saint-Maximin during the summer transfer window.
The Magpies are rumoured to be keen on the forward, but face competition from Spanish side Sevilla. Newcastle are now being linked with a move for Maximin in January by French news outlet Nice-Matin, after the French club rejected an initial offer.
The 21-year-old played 36 times for Nice last season and scored four goals in his first full season at the club. Maximin had previously been on loan at Hannover and Bastia but has now secured a regular starting spot with Nice.
This season the Frenchman has scored two goals in five games during his impressive start to the campaign. Maximin has been likened to Eden Hazard and Neymar because of his dribbling skills on the wing, but the youngster is also able to play behind the striker.
TOP 3 dribblers in Ligue 1 so far this season:— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) September 15, 2018
21-year-old Allan Saint-Maximin: 22 successful dribbles
20-year-old Jeff Reine-Adélaïde: 15 successful dribbles
23-year-old Ferland Mendy: 15 successful dribbles
20-year-old Ibrahim Sangaré: 15 successful dribbles
Youngsters 😍 pic.twitter.com/B9gkZlsLB5
Newcastle have been lacking a cutting edge this season, having scored only four goals in five matches. Maximin would have provided the Magpies with another attacking option and could have helped to stem the poor run of results so far.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez addressed his side's poor form this season in his press conference and, as quoted by the Chronicle, said: "We want to win. We want to get three points in every game, but especially after the start.
"We should be closer with these teams. It will not be easy, but we have more chance. Our idea is to win, but if we can’t, then a draw is OK."
The Spaniard continued, adding: "Every game is an opportunity to get three points for us. Watching these games, on paper they were difficult. On paper these ones are ‘easier’, but every game is a challenge for us. It is a difficult game but I’m confident we can win.”