Pundit reveals why Newcastle would be ‘step up’ on ‘very vulnerable’ Leicester for James Maddison
Noel Whelan is certain that Leicester playmaker James Maddison will not see suitors Newcastle as a step down despite their struggles in recent times.
Football Insider revealed on Monday that Brendan Rodgers’ men have placed a £60million price tag of the attacking midfielder, having already rejected a £40m offer for Maddison from the cash-rich Magpies.
Eddie Howe wants to make the 25-year-old the latest addition to a strong squad he is assembling. But it appears the complete opposite is going on at the King Power.
Indeed, Leicester are the only top-flight club not to make a single signing so far this summer.
That has led to former Leeds forward Whelan to claim the Foxes are in a ‘vulnerable position’, with several top stars tipped to leave.
Youri Tielemans, Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana have all been tipped to move on. Indeed, Chelsea are the latest club to be linked with a move for the latter – having already failed with one bid.
And Whelan believes Maddison will now qualms about swapping Leicester for Newcastle.
He told Football Insider: “I think Leicester are in a vulnerable position right now.
“They’ll be losing Schmeichel and Tielemans as well, and Jamie Vardy isn’t getting any younger. They are the two talismans at that football club.
“There’s going to be a real change and a shift at that club – where can you replace them? They’ve not brought anyone in, and we know why. It just seems that they are very vulnerable.
“I think it’s a step up for Maddison to go to Newcastle. Things are changing, and it’s a club on the up.
“Leicester are just losing players, while Newcastle will have their eyes on breaking into the top six.”
Maddison pushing for England recall
Maddison is being linked with an exit due to the fact he only has two years left on his contract.
The former Norwich man scored 18 goals and added 12 assists last season.
If he carries that sort of form into the new campaign then a return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of the winter World Cup could be on the cards.
And the report adds that doing so at a higher profile club could be the answer for Maddison.
Newcastle are not the only club interested in the player though. Tottenham have shown significant interest for some time and it’s no secret that Antonio Conte still wants to add a No.10 to his squad.
That is the one area of the Spurs team that has yet to be upgraded, with Harry Kane often dropping into that role.
However, it’s highly unlikely that Daniel Levy will spend £60m on Maddison. That is unless he is able to seel record signing Tanguy Ndombele and Giovan Lo Celso first.
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