NEWCASTLE UNITED officials will attempt to hold further talks with Leicester City this week, despite the Foxes having rejected their initial offer for James Maddison.

Leicester have turned down a bid of around £40m for Maddison, with the Magpies having switched their attention to the England international after shelving their interest in Leeds’ Jack Harrison and Everton’s Anthony Gordon, who they deem to be over-valued.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is determined to do all he can to hold on to Maddison, who is in the final two years of his current contract at the King Power Stadium.

However, with the Foxes reportedly needing to sell players in order to be able to make signings of their own because of the restrictions imposed by the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play regulations, Newcastle’s recruitment team feel there could be scope for negotiation.

Eddie Howe refused to discuss Maddison directly in the wake of his side’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday, but the Magpies boss remains hopeful of being able to make an addition ahead of this weekend’s opening Premier League game against Nottingham Forest.

“We’re trying (to make a breakthrough),” said Howe. “We’d love to add to the squad before Saturday’s game, but there’s no guarantee on that.”

Newcastle have also made an inquiry over Maxwell Cornet, with the winger expected to leave Burnley in the wake of the Clarets’ relegation last season.

Cornet, who has a £17m buyout clause in his contract at Turf Moor, was not part of the Burnley squad for their opening Championship game at Huddersfield on Friday night.

Newcastle rounded off their pre-season programme with back-to-back wins over Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, with Howe selecting 22 different players in his two starting line-ups.

Saturday’s win came courtesy of goals from Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, with Raul Garcia pulling a goal back for Bilbao in the second half.

Wilson opened the scoring in the fourth minute, slotting home after racing on to a through ball from Matt Ritchie, and after missing a big chunk of last season because of hamstring and Achilles problems, Howe feels Newcastle’s number nine will benefit hugely from having been injury-free throughout the whole of pre-season.

The Northern Echo:

“It’s been a massively important period for Callum,” he said. “I think the few games at the back end of last season did him the world of good, but this body of work will hopefully give him a great platform to be robust and withstand the rigours of Premier League football.

“Hopefully, it will also give him the sharpness that he needs to be able to score goals at the very highest level. He took his goal very well, and that will have done him the world of good.”