Leicester City hope to tie James Maddison down to a new deal as the Newcastle United target's stock continues to rise following a sensational start to the campaign.
Newcastle had two bids rejected for Maddison last summer and a senior source at Leicester previously stressed to ChronicleLive that the 'manager [Brendan Rodgers] made our position clear - he's not for sale'. That stance has, unsurprisingly, not changed - even as Maddison approaches the final year-and-a-half of his contract.
Leicester will do all that they can to convince Maddison to extend his contract after already losing another key player, Wesley Fofana, to Chelsea last summer. In fact, Maddison, who was already indispensable, has become an even more valued member of the squad this season.
Although Leicester have struggled, tellingly, Maddison has still shone and been directly involved in half of the Foxes' goals this season. Maddison sent a timely reminder of his qualities with two goals and an assist during a man of the match display in the 4-0 victory against Nottingham Forest on Monday night as Brendan Rodgers' side recorded their first league win of the campaign.
Rodgers previously quipped that £40m 'might just cover three-quarters' of Maddison's left leg and, at this rate, the 25-year-old is priceless. It remains to be seen if Newcastle, who are keen to comply with Financial Fair Play, will test Leicester's resolve in 2023 but the Magpies have already started planning for January and the summer.
Miguel Almiron has been an ever-present this season - scoring three goals - but it was no secret that Newcastle were looking at bringing in another wide forward last summer after showing an interest in Maddison and Leeds star Jack Harrison among others. Although Maddison drifts into central areas, it is worth noting that the forward has started all of Leicester's last four games out on the right.
To put Maddison's form into perspective, only Man City superstar Erling Haaland has registered more goals and assists than the Leicester talisman, who has been directly involved in 14 Premier League goals since May 11. Since the start of last season, Maddison has more goals and assists than countrymen Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish, who are all in the England squad.
Maddison has also scored more league goals from outside the box (six) than any other player in Europe's top five divisions in 2022 and more goals from outside the area (17) than any other player in the Premier League since his top-flight debut in 2018. As well as being a game changer at this level, Maddison has also passed Eddie Howe's stringent character tests as a football obsessive who has matured since becoming a father last year and, crucially, the 25-year-old puts the team first rather than himself.