Newcastle have made an improved club-record offer for Leicester City’s James Maddison in the hope that a deal can be agreed this week.
Sources say the second bid is in excess of £40million after a structured package of £35m was rejected last week.
However, it is still some way short of Leicester’s £60m asking price and a compromise would have to be reached if the deal is to progress. The Magpies have been given encouragement that the 25-year-old is interested in a move to Tyneside.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is an admirer of Maddison and has made the midfielder a priority
Newcastle have a limited budget this summer because of FFP restrictions and any deal for Maddison would have to be structured with the promise of future payments and add-ons. It could yet include a player swap.
They are also interested in Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet but are reluctant to pay the entirety of his £17.5m release clause in one sum. Eddie Howe is an admirer of both Maddison and Cornet, although the former is the priority for the time being.
Leicester meanwhile have shown an interest in Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka
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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was far from unequivocal when asked on Monday if Maddison was not for sale.
‘Within the club there is a financial situation which isn’t ideal in terms of wanting to do business,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t mean we will be exploited. You don’t want to lose your best players and then not be able to bring any in. That doesn’t stack up.
‘With James, he is looking the best he has in my time here, in terms of his level of confidence and physicality.
‘A player of that talent there will be interest as well. He is a joy to work with. He is really pivotal to us and there is no way I would want to sell him.’