JAMES MADDISON is the only Leicester City player Newcastle United are interested in this summer, with Manchester United’s Scott McTominay also still regarded as a viable target as Eddie Howe looks to strengthen his midfield.

While Newcastle have been linked with Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes since Leicester’s surprise relegation, the former has always been the only Foxes player on the club’s wanted list.

Tielemans, who has agreed a deal to join Aston Villa following the end of his contract at the King Power Stadium, did not fit the profile of player the Magpies are looking to recruit this summer, while Barnes would have had to rival Anthony Gordon for a place in the starting line-up, with Howe confident the January signing from Everton will evolve into a key performer next season.

Maddison performs a different role, and could play as a central midfielder or on the right of a midfield three, and the England international remains a major summer target.

The 26-year-old is about to enter the final year of his contract with Leicester, and while his current employers are understandably keen to extract the highest possible value for his services, they are hardly negotiating from a position of strength given they will be spending next season in the Championship.

Newcastle, whose summer transfer budget will be capped at around £100m unless player sales are added, are confident they can sign Maddison for a fee, and wage agreement, that will enable them to make further additions and still remain within Financial Fair Play parameters.

The major complication is the competing interest of Tottenham, whose new boss, Ange Postecoglou, also regards Maddison as a key potential addition. The Spurs hierarchy are keen to support Postecoglou, who left Celtic to take over in north London, and are understood to have opened preliminary negotiations with the Leicester board.

A move to Tottenham would enable Maddison to relocate in London, something that has been rumoured to appeal to the midfielder in the past, but after a poor season that saw them miss out on European qualification, Spurs are about to embark on a major rebuilding project that may or may not happen without Harry Kane.


Newcastle are a much more stable proposition given their development under Howe last season, and can also offer Champions League football next season, something that could be a crucial factor in discussions as Maddison looks to cement a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships in Germany.

Howe confirmed that midfield strengthening was a key summer priority in the wake of Newcastle’s final game of the season at Chelsea last month, and McTominay remains a long-term target.

The Manchester United midfielder was considered as a potential replacement for Jonjo Shelvey in January, but his Old Trafford employers were in no mood to contemplate a deal at that time.

The Scotland international is set to move on this summer as part of an ongoing overhaul being overseen by Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, but Newcastle consider a price tag of around £30m to over-value a player who spent most of the second half of last season on the sidelines.

Manchester United do not want to do Newcastle any favours given the way in which they have developed into serious rivals for a top-four place in the last 12 months, with the Magpies’ reported interest in a possible loan deal for Harry Maguire likely to run into similar obstacles.

Aston Villa also want to sign Maguire, and there have been suggestions that Manchester United would offer Villa a different deal for the England international than the one they would present to Newcastle.

Brighton’s Moises Caicedo is another central-midfield option, but Newcastle are not in a position to go anywhere close to the £80m that the Seagulls are currently demanding for the Ecuador international, who is currently much more likely to end up at Arsenal.