Newcastle refuse to give up on pursuit of Leicester midfielder James Maddison

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Newcastle are refusing to give up on their pursuit of Leicester’s James Maddison as Eddie Howe attempts to add attacking options to his squad.

The Magpies are understood to have tabled a second, improved bid for the 25-year-old England international having seen their first flatly rejected with Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers adamant he is not for sale.

Head coach Howe, working with the club’s recruitment team, moved to reinforce his defence early in the summer transfer window by making Aston Villa full-back Matt Targett’s loan move permanent and landing Burnley keeper Nick Pope and Lille defender Sven Botman.

However, his efforts to bolster his frontline have so far been frustrated with just days to go before the new Premier League season gets under way against promoted Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Reims frontman Hugo Ekitike chose to join Paris St Germain despite Newcastle’s long-standing interest while Moussa Diaby opted to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, and alternatives have proved equally elusive.

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Maddison is one of a series of potential targets currently under consideration, with Chelsea striker Timo Werner and Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet also in the Magpies’ sights, although the need to stay within spending guidelines and the desire not to shatter the club’s wage structure despite the wealth of their Saudi-backed owners remain key.

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