Premier League rivals open contract talks with Newcastle United transfer target amid £40m bid

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The Magpies are continuing in their efforts to add to their squad with two weeks remaining in the summer transfer window.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed the Foxes have held talks over a new contract with Newcastle United transfer target James Maddison.

The Magpies were reported to have made two unsuccessful offers for the talented midfielder over the last month as they look to add further creativity to Eddie Howe’s squad.

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It is believed a third offer was considered but the United hierachy are now looking at other options after Leicester informed them Maddison was not for sale.

The likes of Chelsea star Conor Gallagher and Watford forward Joao Pedro are both under consideration and two offers have been submitted for the latter of the last few days.

Maddison could remain a long-term target for Newcastle as the 25-year-old enters the final two years of his current deal at the King Power Stadium.

But Foxes boss Rodgers has described Maddison as ‘an outstanding player’ and revealed talks are underway over extending his stay at the club.

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Asked if talks with Maddison’s representatives had begun, Rodgers said: “I believe so, I believe they’ve spoken.

“Jon (Rudkin, director of football) has spoken to them a number of times, yes. I’m pretty sure the club would want to do that (agree a new deal). Both sides have to be able to find an agreement.

“With James, with two years left, naturally the club would want to protect the asset. But it works both ways.

“Sometimes, everything goes onto the club. If a player, I’m not saying James, doesn’t want to sign it, then it can be a stalemate.

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“But absolutely, he’s an outstanding player and of course, Leicester City would benefit from keeping him longer.”

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe gave an update on his attempts to strengthen the squad ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Premier League champions Manchester City.

With two weeks to go in the summer transfer window, the Magpies boss said: “We’re still working hard behind the scenes to try and make something move in the market for us. No news imminently.

“I’m trying to be positive and look at the business we have done. We haven’t added huge numbers of players but I think we have added quality - that’s the key thing.

“It’s very easy to recruit players and different names that everyone gets excited about but the reality is the outcome and what you’re left with, how strong the team and squad is.”

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