Newcastle have made an improved offer in the region of £50m for Leicester midfielder James Maddison; Magpies had opening £40m bid rejected for the 25-year-old at the weekend; Foxes are believed to value former Norwich man at closer to £60m
Tuesday 2 August 2022 16:51, UK
Newcastle have made a second bid in the region of £50m for Leicester midfielder James Maddison.
The Magpies are awaiting a response to their improved offer for the 25-year-old, after their opening £40m bid was rejected at the weekend.
Leicester are believed to value Maddison, who joined the Foxes for £24m from Norwich in June 2018, at closer to £60m.
If Newcastle's offer was to be accepted, Maddison would become the club's record signing - eclipsing the £40m they paid Hoffenheim for Joelinton in July 2019.
Maddison scored 18 goals and provided 12 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions for Leicester last season.
Eddie Howe remains keen to strengthen his squad despite some setbacks in the transfer market this summer, having been rebuffed in their attempts to sign Everton midfielder Anthony Gordon, while French striker Hugo Ekitike opted for a move to Paris Saint-Germain instead of Newcastle.
The north east club have made three summer signings so far with the arrivals of Aston Villa left-back Matt Targett, Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope and Lille defender Sven Botman.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers wants to keep Maddison and joked after Sunday's 1-0 friendly win over Sevilla that £40m would buy "three-quarters of his left leg".
Leicester, who are the only top-flight side yet to make a signing this summer, still need to sell to bring in reinforcements but Rodgers insisted they will not be taken advantage of over Maddison or others.
"There is obviously, within the club, a financial situation which isn't ideal in terms of wanting to do business. It doesn't mean we will be exploited and we don't want to be losing our best players," he said.
"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. He is a joy to work with. I love him as a young guy, seeing him grow from when I first came in to a 25-year-old father.
"He is really pivotal to us. There is no way I would want to sell him."
Sky Sports News' senior reporter Melissa Reddy speaking on The Transfer Show:
"The issue for Leicester is that they are the only Premier League club that hasn't strengthened their senior squad so far, and he is not the only experienced player that could potentially leave.
"When you look at that squad and you think about the injuries it has had, you do think it's a group that needs to be refreshed.
"If there's going to be exits of fundamental players - Kasper Schmeichel, James Maddison, possibly Wesley Fofana - without solidifying the squad and sanctioning these exits, I'm actually a little bit worried about Brendan Rodgers.
"The expectation of Leicester is they should be pushing in and around the Champions League places but they have been standing still which is not a good indication of how they're going to perform this season.
"There's been a lot of talk they need to let players leave first before they can invest, and ultimately they will know their targets. They're excellent sellers and they've recruited well in the past."
Rodgers has also issued a hands-off warning over Wesley Fofana with Chelsea working on a deal for the French defender.
Leicester are reportedly demanding up to £85m for Fofana, given he has five years left on his contract, and Rodgers is adamant the 21-year-old is not going anywhere.
He said: "No, he's not for sale. When we looked at him he had made 17 league starts. Everyone had a look at him back then but he's come here, really flourished and developed, not just as a player but as a young man.
"He really respects the club, I've got no doubt that in the future he'll be on that (highest) stage but he's very comfortable, he feels good here.
"He has a great relationship with his team-mates which is important and there's no doubt he will grace that stage. But for now he's here, he's developing and like I said he's not for sale.
"He's maybe got an opportunity to get himself in the France squad for the World Cup and for that it's about playing, so I'm pretty calm on it. I've had long chats with him.
"He can't stop the speculation but he's very concentrated on his work here and very focused on his development."
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