Newcastle set sights on Leicester midfielder as Howe outlines plans for January window splurge

Reported Newcastle target James Maddison celebrates his goal Credit: Alamy
Reported Newcastle target James Maddison celebrates his goal Credit: Alamy

Newcastle United have reportedly made Leicester City midfielder James Maddison their top transfer target ahead of the January window.

There is a good chance the Magpies will be very active in the winter transfer window with Eddie Howe’s side currently third in the Premier League.

They have spent quite a bit since being taken over last October – though it hasn’t been the sort of figures fans were expecting when the takeover happened.

Long gone are rumours of £250million bids for Kylian Mbappe, with the Newcastle hierarchy taking quite a conservative and sensible approach to their transfer business.

Still investing in young players, the level of player walking through the door in the north east has undoubtedly increased.

Bruno Guimaraes was the club’s first marquee signing before the summer acquisitions of Sven Botman and Alexander Isak.

While Newcastle are bound to become a huge force in European football, their progression under the new ownership and Howe has been remarkable and way ahead of schedule.

To be third in the league with their only defeat this term coming at Anfield courtesy of a 98th-minute winner is outstanding and unexpected.

And Howe will be eager to maintain the Geordies’ push for European football.

Signings in January will be necessary if they want to qualify for the Champions League, and given the funds at their disposal, there are plenty of rumours doing the rounds.

According to 90min, Newcastle are ‘working hard’ on signing players in the winter transfer window, with Maddison topping their wishlist.

England international Maddison is the Magpies’ ‘top target’, though Howe does accept that Financial Fair Play rules could hinder the club’s pursuit.

They may wait until the summer to get their man with Leicester asking for £50m.

Howe is set to meet with the club’s bosses as he sets out his intentions for January.

There are a number of players Newcastle have been looking at over the last six months who may be pursued next month, or in the summer.

Howe is eager to bring in a new wide forward, with Moussa Diaby, Leandro Trossard, Marcus Thuram, Christian Pulisic and Mykhaylo Mudryk on his radar.

Two other positions the former Bournemouth boss is hoping to bolster are central midfield and right-back, as he seeks depth for Kieran Trippier.

West Ham’s Harrison Ashby and Leeds United’s Cody Drameh are said to be targets for that position.

As for midfield, Newcastle have ‘asked’ Vasco De Gama about their youngster Andrey Santos, the report adds.

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