Newcastle United to make a club-record offer for Leicester City’s James Maddison

James Maddison-Leicester City
James Maddison-Leicester City

Newcastle United have reportedly made a club-record offer for Leicester City playmaker James Maddison.

The Magpies had already seen their first bid for the England international rejected by the Foxes, but are now preparing a second offer that will break their club record.

Eddie Howe’s side paid £40million to Hoffenheim for Joelinton in July 2019 and, according to The Mirror, they are willing to offer an excess of that to land Maddison.

The 25-year-old midfielder is reportedly interested in making the move to the northeast but will have to see if his club will accept Newcastle’s offer after they pushed back a £35m bid from Newcastle last week.

But the reports suggest that the Foxes could be tempted to do business given that club captain and first-choice goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel leaving for Nice this week. Leicester are interested in Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, opening up the possibility of a cash-plus-player deal.

But any transfer could still take a while to materialise, as Brendan Rodgers’ side value Maddison at £60m. 

The midfielder enjoyed the best campaign of his career last season, contributing 12 goals and eight assists in 35 Premier League appearances. Madison joined Leicester for £24m from Norwich in June 2018 and is under contract until June 2024.

He started for Leicester in their pre-season friendly against Sevilla on Sunday evening and gave the assist for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s winning goal. 

After the game, his manager was asked about Newcastle’s interest in the midfielder, but the Northern Irishman insisted that the player is happy at the club.

“He’s still very much a player here,” he said. “Naturally, the players are sought after because they are talented. You see his performance, you see how happy he is, and he’s not a player we want to sell.

“It’s not for me to put valuations on the players, it’s not my side, but that (the reported offer) might just cover three-quarters of his left leg, that price. He’s a top player.”

 Meanwhile, Leicester are the only Premier League club yet to make a single signing this summer, while there is strong interest in their key players like Maddison, Schmeichel, Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans. 

Manager Rodgers has been open about the difficult nature of the club’s finances but doesn’t want to lose players of Maddison’s ability.

“Within the club, there is a financial situation which isn’t ideal in terms of wanting to do business,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean we will be exploited. You don’t want to lose your best players and then not be able to bring any in. That doesn’t stack up.

“With James, he is looking the best he has in my time here, in terms of his level of confidence and physicality. A player of that talent, there will be interest as well. He is a joy to work with. He is really pivotal to us and there is no way I would want to sell him.”