Newcastle’s chance of signing James Maddison is very low, so Eddie Howe has shifted interest and held talk with Liverpool’s target who’s worth £61m as he plans for a hijack

Newcastle United are exploring their midfield options after hearing James Maddison is closing in on a move to Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Maddison was once again identified as a top summer target by Magpies head coach Eddie Howe, 12 months after Leicester City turned down his two bids for the midfielder.

Fast forward to now and the Foxes, relegated from England’s top division, are open to offloading the 26-year-old, though hopes of him arriving at St James’ Park are all but over.

NewcastleWorld reported on Friday talks between Newcastle, Leicester and Maddison’s representatives weren’t progressing as hoped, for two reasons.

Firstly, Newcastle are unwilling to meet Leicester’s rumoured £55million+ price tag, a figure deemed too excessive for a player entering the final year of his contract.

And secondly, there are issues with Maddison’s personal demands, which are believed to exceed the United’s highest earner.

While Tottenham remains in advanced talks with Leicester over a transfer fee, personal terms haven’t been a problem amid claims from Fabrizio Romano an agreement has already been struck with the 26-year-old.

As such, United are ready to focus their attention elsewhere as Howe hopes to sign another midfielder alongside the imminent arrival of Italy under-21s captain Sandro Tonali from AC Milan.

One player under strong consideration is Hungarian international Dominik Szoboszlai. As revealed by NewcastleWorld last week, further talks have taken place with RB Leipzig ahead of a potential move.

Szoboszlai has a £61m release clause, which is said to expire on June 30. Newcastle would likely look to negotiate below that figure if they decide to take their interest to the next stage.

The 22-year-old enjoyed another impressive campaign in the Bundesliga last season – scoring 10 goals in 46 appearances to help Leipzig qualify for the Champions League and lift the German Cup for the second consecutive season.

The former RB Salzburg man admitted towards the back end of last season he was open to a new challenge this summer.

“If there is interest, I will consider it,” he said. “Not because I don’t have a good time in Leipzig, but because I have always been interested in challenges.

“On one side of the scale is a good Leipzig, with a coach who trusts me and team-mates who accept me and also believe in me. No footballer can wish for more than that, this is quite an exciting situation.


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