Leicester snub Newcastle over Maddison: Why this is great news for Chelsea

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 13 Aug 2022 15:30 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 13 Aug 2022 15:30 BST 3 min read
James Maddison, Leicester City, 2021/22

Newcastle United's loss could prove Chelsea's gain as both sides pursue targets from Premier League rivals Leicester City.

Chelsea have been closely linked with star young defender Wesley Fofana in recent weeks, while the Magpies are interested in midfielder James Maddison.

Leicester, however, are reluctant to sell any of their key first-team players, and their valuation of Fofana and Maddison reflects that.

The Foxes reportedly want Chelsea to smash the world transfer record for a defender in order to sign the 21-year-old, asking for a fee topping the £80m they received from Manchester United for Harry Maguire back in 2019.

Maddison would not come much cheaper for Newcastle, with Leicester imposing a minimum of asking price of £60m to enter talks.

Now, it appears that the Tyneside club have grown tired of the fruitless pursuit.

Newcastle's loss, Chelsea's gain?

Wesley Fofana, Leicester, 2021/22

According to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs there will be no improvement on the Magpies' last bid of an initial £45m plus bonuses which was dismissed by Leicester.

Reported interest from Tottenham, meanwhile, has not yet translated into a formal bid for Maddison's services.

While Leicester look set to hold on to one of their stats, Chelsea could also be in line to benefit from Newcastle pulling out of negotiations.

Only one of Maddison or Fofana would be permitted to leave the King Power Stadium, placing the latter as now the most likely to clinch a transfer - as long as the Blues meet those steep demands.

Asked whether there was a fresh bid in place for the defender, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: "Not that I am aware of. There were two, but again, nowhere near what the club would even think about."