Newcastle United have reportedly pulled the plug on their pursuit of 25-year-old Leicester City playmaker James Maddison.

According to a report by 90 min, Newcastle United are set to call off their pursuit of top target James Maddison. The Magpies had been keen on landing the English international in the ongoing transfer window but are ready to end their interest in him owing to Leicester City’s hefty asking price.

Newcastle have been heavily linked with a transfer for the Leicester City midfielder over the last couple of weeks. As per recent reports, the Magpies are said to have seen not one, but two bids knocked back for the 25-year-old, with the latest offer believed to be around £45 million, including add-ons.

Leicester City are reluctant to lose their Player of the Year from last season and are said to be holding out for around £60 million to even consider a sale. The Magpies, though, are not ready to break the bank on an individual signing at this stage of their project and are now weighing up their other options.

Maddison, who is thought to be Eddie Howe’s priority target this summer, enjoyed a stellar 2021/22 campaign despite Leicester’s general woes. The 25-year-old is coming off the back of his most prolific campaign, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists in the Premier League alone last season, with a further ten contributions in other competitions. So it is easy to see why Newcastle wanted him.

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The Magpies desperately need to bring in attacking reinforcements as last season’s top scorer was Callum Wilson with eight goals, despite missing a big chunk of the season, with the team lacking attacking firepower. It was believed that the signing of Maddison could push the Tyneside outfit to the next level, with the Englishman capable of picking defences apart with his slick passing.

However, it was not to be for Dan Ashworth and co. who will now have to look elsewhere in their search for a creative midfielder. And, with no fresh bids in sight, it appears Newcastle have withdrawn their interest in the English international and are exploring other avenues.

Brendan Rodgers has insisted that both Maddison and Chelsea target Wesley Fofana are ‘not for sale’ and is adamant that neither player will leave Leicester City. Despite the statement, Chelsea have submitted an improved offer of £70 million after having a £60 million opening bid rejected swiftly by the Foxes.

If Fofana does swap the King Power Stadium for Stamford Bridge, the Foxes are unlikely to deviate from their past policy of only selling one top asset a year and are unlikely to be moved on their valuation of Maddison, making it an even tougher deal to crack from Newcastle’s perspective.

While Newcastle’s third bid could still arrive on the table, the ball is now very much in Leicester’s court, and the Toon hierarchy will have to pay over the odds to land their target. As things stand, Newcastle appear to have called off their chase for Maddison and are looking for a low-cost alternative to fix their attacking issues.

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