Newcastle United’s newfound wealth ever since they changed ownership has meant they can go after transfer targets that were previously deemed unattainable.
It started with Bruno Guimaraes, who arrived for £40m in January. Trippier and Pope strengthened the backline, among other incomings.
Alexander Isak was bought in from Real Sociedad in the summer, with the transfer breaking Newcastle’s record for the highest fee paid.
All the improvements in the team and behind the scenes have seen Eddie Howe’s men go into the World Cup break in third place. The optimism at St. James’ Park is at levels not seen in a very long time and supporters are enjoying life at Tyneside.
In complete contrast are the fortunes of a club that recently won the Premier League, Leicester City.
A recent upturn in form saw them rise clear of the relegation spots and go into the break in 13th place, with four wins and a loss in the last five games.
However, it could have ended very differently had one of the proposed transfers during the summer gone through.
Leicester’s form is in no small part thanks to James Maddison. The 26-year-old has scored 7 and assisted four in 13 games for the Foxes this season.
Credible sources reported multiple times during the transfer window that Newcastle were making serious bids for the English international, starting from £40m and going up to £60m. However, Brendan Rodgers held firm and rejected all interests, and it is clear to see why.
While Rodgers may have gotten temporary relief, recent developments have put the transfer back on the map.
In the most recent episode of Lions’ Den, a chat show with the Three Lions base came in Qatar, host Josh Denzel and Maddison were engaged in a conversation about Premier League and his links to Newcastle.
James said, “Me, Callum, Trips and Popey (all Newcastle players playing for England in Qatar currently) have been having a bit of banter about the Boxing Day game. With the speculation last summer, I think the Foxes will come out on top. I’ve been saying that all week.
It’s obviously three on one so I’m getting outvoted. Newcastle have been in good form to be fair. Callum Wilson will have to have a quiet day on Boxing Day.”
Maddison is referring to Leicester’s next PL game, which is coincidentally, against Newcastle. He also addresses the speculation, which we can safely assume is about his transfer.
While the conversation seems to be in good spirits, fans have taken this as a hint of things to come, especially because of Trippier’s story on Instagram.
There have been suggestions that Howe and his staff are not willing to back out and will make another push to get their man in the January window.
While Newcastle may not have benefited from him in the team in terms of table position, Leicester’s hope of survival solely rests on him.
The LCFC fans would be hoping he stays for as long as he can. Gems like him are hard to find, especially with the team’s future not secure.