Newcastle United have been hit with a setback in their pursuit of James Maddison in the summer transfer window…
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that he is “pretty sure” that the Foxes want to extend the Englishman’s deal and that the 25-year-old has been in discussions with the club over fresh terms.
When asked if the midfielder is in contract talks with the club, the 49-year-old said: “I believe they’ve spoken. Yeah, Jon’s (Rudkin, sporting director) spoken to them a number of times.
“If a player — not saying James — doesn’t want to sign it, then it can be a stalemate. Both sides have to be able to find an agreement.
“But absolutely, he’s an outstanding player and of course, Leicester City would benefit from keeping him longer.
“He’s been brilliant. He’s a top-class player. He’s improving, developing and happy. Of course, he’s a top player at the level, so people will be interested in him, but I’ve seen no change in him whatsoever.”
This comes after Newcastle had a £40m bid turned down for the mercurial playmaker, and it was reported that the Magpies would go back in for him if Leicester lowered their valuation, which has been placed at around £50m.
However, it appears as though the Foxes have opted to push for him to sign a new contract to ensure his future at the King Power Stadium, rather than dropping their demands.
Therefore, Newcastle’s chances of signing Maddison look increasingly slim, and missing out on him could be a big blow for Eddie Howe, as the 25-year-old has the quality to be a huge upgrade on Miguel Almiron.
Gareth Southgate once dubbed his set-pieces “world-class” and former Foxes defender Gerry Taggart used the same phrase to describe the playmaker’s touch, which highlights the quality that he can provide.
Over the last 365 days, the Newcastle man ranks in the bottom 15% or lower amongst positional peers in the top five European leagues for shot-creating actions, non-penalty goals, and xG assisted per 90. This shows that he does not offer much in front of goal and does little to help his team-mates score, as he is not creating high-quality opportunities.
Along with their respective goal contributions in the Premier League, this suggests that Maddison would be a huge upgrade on Almiron, and that is why this news could be a big blow for Howe.