Cash-rich Newcastle United are reportedly plotting a double January raid on Leicester City for midfielders James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.
Newcastle United have Leicester City’s midfield duo of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans in their sights for the January transfer window. That’s according to the Northern Echo, which claims “the Magpies recruitment team have identified the Leicester City duo as key targets” and will make formal inquiries for both playmakers.
Newcastle United have had a remarkable turnaround of fortunes in 2022. Some Toon faithful will barely believe how well their beloved club is performing on and off the pitch this season. Eddie Howe’s team have yet again underlined their credentials as serious top-four contenders with a three-goal first-half rampage against Leicester City on Boxing Day.
However, there’s a wider belief that Howe and Co. will need further reinforcements in January to keep the Geordie juggernaut rolling in the second half of the season. The Magpies are currently on the lookout for a midfielder, and their need has intensified following the news about Jonjo Shelvey.
After just returning from injury, the veteran is now set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines and will be out for six to eight weeks. That is why Howe is now even more eager to bring in a midfielder. However, it appears Newcastle are looking to bring in two midfielders instead of one, with the Northern Echo claiming the Toon are looking to bring both James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.
The pair would provide Howe with two fantastic options in the middle of the park, but neither deal will be easy to complete. Maddison, for one, is Eddie Howe’s top target heading into the transfer window, as Dan Ashworth looks to resurrect a deal that he failed to get over the line during the summer.
Newcastle had two bids knocked back for Maddison last summer and could potentially come forward with a third bid next month.
Although he won’t come cheap, with a reported £60 million price tag on his head, the England international would be an excellent addition to Howe’s team. He would bring real quality and end product in the final third, and signing him would be akin to killing two birds with a single stone as his versatility means he could also deputise in place of Miguel Almiron on the right flank if required.
As for Tielemans, he is set to enter the final six months of his contract and is the most likely to leave next month. He is a wonderful passer of the ball and can link the defence to the attack with his glorious range and vision.
If Newcastle manage to land the Belgian international, he would be the perfect long-term replacement for Shelvey. A midfield pair of Bruno Guimaraes and Tielemans would be outstanding to watch.
It remains to be seen which of the two emerges as a more realistic target heading into next month and whether Newcastle change their mind and believe one signing will be enough to bolster their options in midfield or if they need both.