Newcastle plan summer bid for England midfielder as Man City provide ‘intense competition’

Reported Newcastle target James Maddison signs the national anthem at the World Cup Credit: Alamy
Reported Newcastle target James Maddison signs the national anthem at the World Cup Credit: Alamy

Newcastle remain interested in signing Leicester playmaker James Maddison and are bracing themselves for competition from Man City, according to reports.

Maddison has been the Foxes’ best player this season and earned a spot in England’s World Cup squad as a result.

He failed to make an appearance for the Three Lions in Qatar after sustaining a knee injury prior to the tournament, though he was deemed fit enough to be a substitute for three encounters.

Despite the fact he only has one cap for his country, Maddison is highly rated by fans and clubs and was a reported Arsenal target in 2021 before they signed Martin Odegaard, who has since gone on to become Gunners captain.

The 26-year-old made his first Leicester appearance post-World Cup on January 21 and Brendan Rodgers’ side are unbeaten in their last three matches across all competitions.

Such is Maddison’s importance to his club, they lost all four Premier League matches he missed through injury following the resumption of the domestic season.

After some big fears of relegation at the start of the campaign, the Foxes have improved after sticking by former Liverpool boss Rodgers and currently sit 14th, three points above the bottom three.

As mentioned prior, Maddison has been a huge influence for his side and one of the few bright sparks in 2022-23 having scored eight and assisted four in 15 league matches.

Newcastle have been linked with the former Coventry City youngster for quite some time now and reportedly made a bid to sign him last summer.

Some expected the Magpies to make lodge another offer during the winter transfer window, but they instead signed Anthony Gordon from Everton.

The acquisition of Gordon is unlikely to deter Newcastle in their pursuit of Maddison, and according to The Northern Echo, they will ‘make a renewed attempt’ to land the England international at the end of the season.

However, Eddie Howe’s side will have some ‘intense competition’ in the form of reigning Premier League champions Man City.

The report states that the Geordies did in fact make an enquiry about Maddison last month, but a sale was ruled out by Leicester.

With Maddison in the final 18 months of his Foxes contract, there is some expectation that he will leave in the summer window.

Newcastle have been very smart in the transfer market under their new owners and patience was a virtue in their pursuit of the likes of Sven Botman and the aforementioned Gordon.

The north east club have shown a willingness to splash out around £40million on Maddison in the past and Howe will hope Leicester are willing to listen to offers when the 22-23 campaign concludes.

City’s interest will be music to the ears of the Foxes hierarchy, who will be hoping for a bidding war with the player set to enter the final year of his contract in July.

Bernardo Silva’s uncertain future at the Etihad has alerted manager Pep Guardiola, who apparently sees the creative Maddison as a solid replacement.

While Maddison is a proven Premier League star, he does not have the same style of play as the tireless Portuguese international.

The report says that Newcastle’s plans for the summer window are ‘well under way’ and Champions League qualification could make it a historic few months.

The Magpies are currently fourth in the Premier League and a win over Bournemouth on Saturday would put them into third above Manchester United, and two points behind City.

Speaking about potential signings in the summer, boss Howe said: “We would have an idea (of summer targets), but that changes.

“That can change in the blink of an eye. If you plan things right, you can look a few months ahead, but you always need to be reactive to what happens on a day-to-day basis as well.”

READ MORE: Man Utd dodged summer bullet and even helped inspire Arsenal title tilt with transfer back-ups

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