TOTTENHAM are now strong favourites to sign James Maddison, with the Leicester City midfielder preferring a move to north London ahead of a switch to Newcastle United.
Both Spurs and Newcastle have made capturing Maddison a key summer priority, with the England international certain to leave the King Power Stadium in the wake of Leicester’s relegation to the Championship.
Newcastle officials have been working on a move for Maddison for a number of months, with Eddie Howe having openly acknowledged the need to strengthen in midfield, and remain hopeful of striking a deal that could see the 26-year-old, who is valued at around £50m, move to St James’ Park.SUBSCRIBE to The Northern Echo – read the paper on our brand-new app, access premium website content, remove adverts and join our exclusive members-only rewards club
However, there is a growing sense that Maddison is edging towards an alternative move to Tottenham, with sources claiming the England star will opt for Spurs as his first choice ahead of Newcastle.
While the Magpies can offer Champions League football next season, with Tottenham not involved in European action at all, there are alternative considerations at play that could make it hard for Newcastle to pull off a deal.
Maddison is understood to prefer a move to London ahead of a switch to the North-East for personal and family reasons, and with Newcastle reluctant to demolish their current wage structure this summer, Tottenham are also set to offer him a more lucrative weekly wage packet than the offer that would be on the table at St James’ Park.
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Newcastle United’s key Saudi Arabian sponsorship dealNegotiations over Maddison’s future will be conducted by representatives of CAA Base, the agency that also represent newly-appointed Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou. While that does not necessarily preclude the possibility of an alternative move to the North-East, the fact that CAA Base negotiated the deal that took Postecoglou to Tottenham from Celtic means they have already developed a close relationship with the hierarchy at Spurs.
While Maddison was always going to be one of Newcastle’s key midfield targets this summer, he is far from their only option. Moves for Khephren Thuram, Dominik Szoboszlai and Nicolo Barella have all been discussed, with Manchester United’s Scott McTominay another long-standing target.