Newcastle United prepare bid for £50m star after ‘unexpected’ St James’ Park visit & ‘talks’

Newcastle United are likely to make another bid for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison when the transfer window opens next month.

Maddison has been valued at around £50million by Leicester and has been subject to two rejected bids from Newcastle. But he could be available on a cut-price deal should Leicester be relegated from the Premier League.

The Foxes sit two points from safety heading into the final game of the season and Maddison has just a year remaining on his contract.

Newcastle confirmed Champions League football with a 0-0 draw against Leicester at St James’ Park on Monday night. Maddison was unexpectedly named on the bench by manager Dean Smith.

It was only the second time Maddison had started a game on the bench this season, with the other occasion marking his return from a knee injury back in January. The 26-year-old was a half-time introduction against Newcastle but couldn’t help swing the game in The Foxes’ favour.

Maddison has scored 10 goals and registered nine assists in 29 Premier League matches for Leicester this season. And Newcastle are set to return with a third bid for the England international in the summer.

Maddison is understood to be interested in joining Newcastle and has discussed the club with Kieran Trippier while on international duty with England. He also previously addressed the Newcastle links with his former Coventry City team-mate Callum Wilson while at the World Cup in Qatar late last year.

United head coach Eddie Howe has also spoken highly of Maddison but wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on the club’s interest.

“I have full respect for him and his abilities,” Howe said previously. “I have seen him grow from a Football League player to a Premier League player. He’s been brilliant.

“He has been a great advert for the Premier League, but he’s a Leicester City player – and I fully respect that. I’d never talk about another contracted player coming here. But he’s a player I do respect.”

By helping Newcastle secure Champions League football sooner than expected, Howe is set to be handed his biggest transfer window budget to date by the club’s owners. The Magpies have already spent around £250million on new signings since the October 2021 takeover led by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.