£60m star ‘main target’ at St James’ Park – GiveMeSport

Newcastle United still have Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison as their ‘main target’, journalist Dean Jones has informed GiveMeSport.

The 25-year-old Magpies target was heavily linked with a move to St. James’ Park over the summer but was ultimately priced out of a switch by the Foxes after multiple bids from Eddie Howe’s side fell short of their asking price.

Newcastle United transfer news – James Maddison

Back in August, The Guardian revealed that Newcastle had a £50 million offer rebuffed by the Leicester hierarchy as it did not match their £60m valuation of Maddison.

The England international has not let the speculation surrounding his future affect his performances on the pitch, though, and reportedly remains firmly on Eddie Howe’s radar.

The i have since claimed that Newcastle ‘retain an interest’ in the creative talent, but Howe has stated that improving his starting XI in January will be ‘almost impossible’.

“If you’re looking to improve the team, the starting XI as it is if we have no injuries, then that is a challenge in the market currently,” the 45-year-old said.

“Again, with an unlimited budget, that might be possible – not that we necessarily have a budget at the moment – but with Financial Fair Play looming and with those restrictions, it’s almost impossible.”

What has Jones said about Maddison?

Newcastle have also been credited with an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram by The Sun.

Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know

And Jones has told GMS that alongside Thuram, Maddison remains at the top of the Magpies’ wishlist.

He said: “The other main target would still be Maddison, from everything I’m hearing. Again, there are all sorts of hurdles to get over with that one, and there will be lots of work to do.”

What is Maddison’s form this season?

Maddison was in fabulous form for Leicester last season, registering 18 goals and 12 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions, firing his side to the UEFA Conference League semi-finals.

The immensely talented star has carried that form into the current campaign too, finding the back of the net on seven occasions in 14 outings, setting up four further strikes for his teammates.

As per FBref, Maddison has ranked in the 99th percentile for total shots, 98th for non-penalty expected goals and progressive passes received, 97th for touches in the attacking penalty area, 95th for shot-creating actions, and 94th for expected assists amongst his positional peers over the last year.

Newcastle are currently exceeding all expectations in challenging for a top-four finish, and adding Maddison into the mix would surely aid their push to secure a spot in next term’s Champions League.

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