On Saturday, it was revealed by the usually very reliable John Percy of The Telegraph (who has an impressive record when it comes to breaking a number of Newcastle transfer stories in the past) that on Friday, Leicester had turned down a £40m Newcastle United offer for James Maddison.
Then on Sunday morning, Ben Jacobs brought a further update, he is a journalist working for CBS Sports and also happens to be a Leicester City fan.
He said that his information was that James Maddison is ‘intrigued’ by the Newcastle United offer…but that the big problem is Leicester value the midfielder more towards the £60m mark, getting on for some £20m more than that (opening?) NUFC bid.
Ben Jacobs adding he has also been informed that Newcastle United have not been deterred by the bid having been turned down, saying that James Maddison is still the big NUFC transfer target and the Magpies are now considering putting in a higher bid.
Sunday night saw Leicester playing at the King Power in their final friendly of pre-season, beating Sevilla 1-0.
James Maddison started and starred for Leicester, setting up Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to score the only goal of the game.
With one goal and three assists in his four pre-season appearances, Maddison looking in good form ahead of the season.
After the match, Brendan Rodgers was predictably asked about the reported £40m Newcastle bid for James Maddison…
“He is still very much a player here.
“Naturally, players are sought after because they are talents.
“You see his performance, you see how happy he is…he is not a player we want to sell.
“It is not for me to put valuations on the players but that (£40m) might just cover three-quarters of his left leg.
“He is a top player.”
When news broke on Saturday of Leicester having reportedly turned down the £40m offer, as well as claims that Newcastle will be going back in with a higher offer, it was also reported that Newcastle were supposedly also keen on Harvey Barnes, happy to take either him or Maddison, if they could get the Foxes to sell. Barnes has previously been linked with Newcastle and in 28 starts (all competitions) he had 20 direct goal involvements last season, scoring eight and getting twelve assists.
In the second half of their Sunday night friendly, Harvey Barnes went down holding his knee in the second half and was subbed off.
Brendan Rodgers asked about Barnes’ situation after the 1-0 win:
“We think he is okay.
“He just felt it was unstable, so there was no need to take the risk.
“This is a time of the season you don’t need to force it…but sat on the bed there, he seems fine, and the medical team think he’s fine, but we will see how that is on Monday).”
Harvey Jones is aged 24, whilst James Maddison (25) is also the right age bracket, as Newcastle United seek to bring in players who can be long-term foundations of the team, Bruno currently 24 and Joelinton 25.
James Maddison has consistently played well against Newcastle, he scored in the 4-0 victory at the King Power last season (and produced an outrageous dive to win a penalty!), then in each of the previous two seasons, scored in wins at St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe has made clear he is very keen (desperate?) to bring in more attacking threat and last season Maddison had 30 direct goal involvements in all competitions (Newcastle’s highest was ASM with 10), scoring 18 and getting 12 assists.
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