An interesting Saturday, Newcastle beating Athletico Bilbao in their final pre-season friendly, whilst before kick-off the news that NUFC had seen a £40m offer for James Maddison turned down.
The report came from the usually excellent John Percy of The Telegraph, who has an impressive record when it comes to breaking transfer stories, including any number of Newcastle ones in the past.
The man from The Telegraph said in his exclusive, that a £40m bid was made on Friday, with Leicester turning that opening Newcastle United offer down.
Now on Sunday morning, a further update via the media.
Ben Jacobs is a journalist working for CBS Sports and also happens to be a Leicester City fan.
He says that his information is 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.
Leicester currently find themselves in the position of having Tielemans with just a year left on his contract and the expectation was that the midfielder would leave this summer, generating funds for the Foxes to spend on targets. As things stand, Leicester are the only one of the 20 PL clubs yet to sign a single player and manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that it is not an ideal scenario. If Tielemans doesn’t move, they could well end up losing a £40m+ asset for nothing.
James Maddison only has two years left on his contract and Leicester City surely don’t want to end up in the same position, finding themselves with a star player next summer with only one year left on his deal. The Newcastle United offer has sparked claims of the Foxes now supposedly looking at getting Maddison to sign a new extended deal and you would imagine that surely, either he signs a new deal this summer or if not Leicester will feel forced to sell.
Ben Jacobs says he has also been informed that Newcastle United have not been deterred by the bid having been turned down, he says that James Maddison is still the big NUFC transfer target and now considering putting in a higher bid.
It looks to me like a situation where this will come down to James Maddison, he has been at Leicester four years now but only has one cap for England, he will turn 26 in November. So does he see his future at the King Power, or is Newcastle United now looking a better bet?
If, as expected, Newcastle compromise and make a higher bid, whilst at the same time James Maddison makes clear to Leicester he would prefer to leave and won’t be signing a new extended contract, then Eddie Howe could finally land one of the attacking targets he has been trying to bring in this summer.
As for Newcastle United elsewhere, Ben Jacobs says his information is that there is substance in reported NUFC interest in Burnley’s. Cornet wasn’t named in the squad as Burnley won 1-0 at Huddersfield on Friday night in their opening Championship match. Jacobs saying NUFC think the £17.5m release clause for Maxwell Cornet is a bit high but that they , Forest and Everton are still interested. He also adds that Eddie Howe is understood to see Watford’s Emanuel Dennis as a possible alternative.
Aged 25, James Maddison is in 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 win at the King Power last season, 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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