Leicester City midfielder James Maddison is set to make his ‘final audition’ against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Monday night (8pm kick-off).
Maddison has been identified as a top transfer target for Newcastle this summer after Leicester rejected two bids last August. And with The Foxes facing relegation to the Championship, the 26-year-old, who has just a year remaining on his contract at the King Power Stadium, is likely to leave.
Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth was at Leicester to watch the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool in person while also monitoring Maddison and a couple of other Newcastle targets. The Magpies have also been linked with moves for winger Harvey Barnes and midfielder Youri Tielemans – who is out of contract in the summer.
All three are likely to be involved on Monday as Newcastle prepare to take a closer look.
Despite Leicester’s struggles this season, Maddison has managed to score 10 goals in 28 appearances while also earning an England World Cup call-up.
And Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe has spoken highly of the England international amid the transfer links.
“I have full respect for him and his abilities,” Howe said previously. “I have seen him grow from a Football League player to a Premier League player. He’s been brilliant.
“He has been a great advert for the Premier League, but he’s a Leicester City player – and I fully respect that. I’d never talk about another contracted player coming here. But he’s a player I do respect.”
Newcastle are expected for a busy summer transfer window as they prepare for European football next season with Maddison understood to be high on the shopping list.