Leicester have rejected Newcastle’s latest offer for James Maddison and are reluctant to sell the midfielder unless they receive a bid of about £60m.
It is understood Newcastle’s second bid for Maddison, who has two years left on his deal, was £45m plus £5m in add-ons. Brendan Rodgers has said Leicester, who need to raise their transfer budget through sales, will not be exploited by Premier League rivals hoping to capitalise on their financial situation.
Wesley Fofana is wanted by Chelsea, who intend to test Rodgers’ insistence that the 21-year-old centre-back is not for sale, and Newcastle’s attempts to increase their attacking options has seen them target Maddison and the England winger Harvey Barnes.
There is scepticism whether Newcastle will be able to match Leicester’s asking price for either. Barnes is valued at £60m and Leicester, who expect Arsenal to move for the Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans, want a similar fee for Maddison.
Maddison has proved an excellent buy for Leicester since joining them from Norwich in 2018 and scored 18 goals last season.
Newcastle, who have signed Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Matt Targett, could switch their focus to a left-winger. They are interested in Maxwel Cornet, who is likely to leave Burnley after their relegation. The Ivorian, who is understood to have a £17.5m release clause, is also wanted by Everton and West Ham.
It is believed West Ham, who are expected to fail in attempts to sign Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic, would like Cornet on loan. Everton want the 25-year-old, who can play at left-back and as a striker, on a permanent deal.
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