Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has played down speculation about a summer outing for Allan Saint-Maximin.
Saint-Maximin has been the club’s best player so far this season, scoring five goals as the Magpies seek to avoid a late relegation battle.
The Frenchman endured a frustrating few weeks through injury and was linked with a summer move away from St James’ Park, with Wolves and Everton among those reportedly keen.
But in the face of speculation, Howe sent a clear message to anyone suggesting the 25-year-old could be allowed to move on.
Speaking at his press conference, Howe said: “I have a great relationship with Maxi. I really enjoyed working with him and we need him at his best. It could potentially make the difference.
“He’s an incredible talent and of course he has a long-term future at the club.”
When asked if he and Saint-Maximin had a good relationship, Howe added, “Absolutely, yes. Don’t always believe what you read in the newspapers.
“I have a great relationship with Maxi, I really enjoyed working with him.”
Any potential interest from Everton could hinge on their ability to secure their place in the Premier League next season, a situation which Simon Jordan says is due to Farhad Moshiri’s poor record in decision-making.
When asked who was to blame for Everton’s fate, Jordan said: “I think Moshiri, at the end of the day, because he’s the intellectual capital behind who makes these appointments.
“At Frank’s [Lampard] entering without a point of reference, Moshiri made it worse. Frank was a good date if Everton were in good condition.
“If Everton have all their ducks in a row when Frank Lampard arrives, a rookie manager, who I think will always be a top manager, but those experiences are quite debilitating for him.
“Paul Clement and his team behind the scenes need to do a bit more as they are supposed to be elite coaches to bridge the gap between Frank Lampard.”
Jordan added: “The blame game is useless but, in this case, if you want to point the finger at people, it’s a lack of decision-making that is good for Moshiri’s Everton Football Club.
“The financial mismanagement has put them in a situation where this group of players is not good enough.”
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