‘An absolute joy to watch’ - Newcastle United transfer target hailed amid World Cup claims

The in-form midfielder has been linked with a move to Tyneside once again in recent weeks.

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Newcastle United transfer target James Maddison was described as ‘an absolute joy to watch’ after he inspired Leicester City to a much-needed win on Monday night.

The once-capped England star was in stunning form to help Brendan Rodgers’ side see off fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest with a 4-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

Maddison opened the scoring with a deflected effort on 25 minutes before Harvey Barnes doubled their lead just moments later.

Maddison came to the fore once again ten minutes before half-time when he extended his side’s lead with a stunning free-kick before setting up the final goal of the game for Patson Daka with just over quarter of an hour remaining.

The former Norwich City star has been widely linked with a move to Newcastle and it was reported the Magpies made three unsuccessful bids to bring Maddison to Tyneside during the summer.

The midfielder remains of interest to United ahead of the January transfer window and Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with Maddison’s progression.

Rodgers told Sky Sports: “He’s 25 years of age, when I first came into here he was a young guy and you saw his haircuts and his bags and all that sort of stuff. But he’s matured, and he’s a great lad.

“I have to say to work with him everyday, it’s an absolute joy to watch. He’s now become a father, he’s matured in his game and he’s quite focused.

“Of course he wants to play, every player wants to play, but this is a guy that’ll be so supportive.

“To have him there if you’re in trouble in a game, you know he can beat a man, make a pass, you’ve seen his free-kick tonight.

“He just has so many qualities, I feel he’s deserving of at least being in the squad.”

Maddison has been widely tipped to force his way into England squad for the World Cup Finals later this year.

The midfielder hit out at recent suggestions that he would be a disruptive influence and would not be ‘a good traveller’ for the finals in Qatar.

“I’ve never seen anything like that. That’s also questioning my personality and my professionalism which is obviously quite insulting.”

Newcastle will get a first-hand look at Maddison when they return to action after the World Cup with a visit to the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.