Reported Newcastle United managerial target Lucien Favre may have an impressive CV, but he has had issues with the Magpies’ current star Allan Saint-Maximin in the past.
With Steve Bruce’s time at St James’ Park set to end at any stage following the club’s takeover, Favre is among the contenders to take the Newcastle hot seat.
Favre has told the Newcastle hierarchy that he wants to take charge of the first team, according to The Northern Echo.
The Saudi Arabia-backed consortium, whose public face seems to be Amanda Staveley, has aspirations of turning the club into of Europe’s biggest powerhouses and challenging for the biggest prizes in football.
Favre has been out of work for nearly a year, but it’s his impressive work in Germany that has potentially caught the eyes of Newcastle’s new owners.
The Swiss coach took Hertha Berlin from 12th to fourth within two seasons of taking the reigns, while Borussia Monchengladbach were rock bottom of Bundesliga when he took the job in 2011.
Under the stewardship of the 63-year-old, Gladbach avoided relegation, watched Marco Reus blossom before them and qualified for the early stages of the Champions League the following campaign.
In his two full seasons at Dortmund, Favre was unable to oust Bayern Munich to the league title and had to settle for second place in each campaign, but he did beat Bayern to win the Super Cup in 2019/20.
But he did nurture the likes of Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham alongside Reus during his time at the Westfalenstadion.
Ramifications for Saint-Maximin
Whichever manager who takes charge of Newcastle is expected to make significant changes to the squad.
But one player who stands amongst the current crop deserving of a chance to lead the club into a new era is Saint-Maximin.
Most of Newcastle’s games this season have depended on Saint-Maximin producing a one-man rescue act.
But the Frenchman may be sweating at the news that Favre is in the running for the Newcastle job.
That’s because the pair have previous, and Favre made his views on Saint-Maximin during their time at Nice together abundantly clear.
Favre was reportedly incensed by Saint-Maximin’s behaviour during the winger’s first session at the club.
The Athletic claim the Swiss coach stormed up to the president’s office after training to demand that he was sold due to his lack of ‘tactical intelligence’.
Favre was also said to have been frustrated by Saint-Maximin’s desire to dribble over improving his decision-making, according to the report.
But in his only season under Favre, Saint-Maximin established himself as a key player in Favre’s team, scoring five goals making nine assists following his move from Monaco.
There were clearly issues with Favre and Saint-Maximin at the start of their time together, but Newcastle’s number 10 overcame them and his decision making has much improved since as well.
The pair have had their differences but it could be a prosperous and successful chapter on Tyneside if they are reunited.