Tottenham and Newcastle United have both been warned that it will cost them at least £50m to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison this summer, despite the Englishman down to the final 15 months of his contract at the King Power.
Maddison has long been linked with a move away from Leicester, and Eddie Howe’s Newcastle made two bids of around £45m at the end of the most recent summer transfer window, but is now expected to leave at the end of the season with the Foxes in serious danger of dropping out of the Premier League as it stands.
Despite Maddison’s impressive personal returns of nine goals and six assists this campaign, the Foxes sit 19th in the top flight and, even after sacking Brendan Rodgers, are two points behind 17th placed Nottingham Forest, and safety.
As per the Telegraph, however, ‘Leicester are set to demand around £50 million for Maddison’, having shown with Youri Tielemans that they are willing to let his contract run down and the star leave for free should their price not be met.
They add that Tottenham are currently leading the race for his signature, though there is at present neither a manager nor a director of football installed in north London, a fact which has likely put any transfer talks on ice for now.
Howe has been a long-term fan of the attacking midfielder, and the Magpies currently look best placed of the two sides to be able to offer Champions League next season, with Newcastle third in the Premier League, ahead of Spurs on goal difference but with two games in hand on the Lilywhites.
One issue on the price tag is that Maddison’s previous club, Norwich City, are set to receive a percentage of any sale. It means that Leicester will try to hold out for a hefty fee irrespective of his contract situation, and could price him out of plenty of smaller clubs.