Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the club have opened talks with playmaker James Maddison over a new contract.
The Foxes have already rebuffed two bids for Maddison from Newcastle United, the last of which was worth £45m – not enough to buy one of the 25-year-old’s legs, according to the Northern Irishman.
Leicester’s plan has long been to sit down with Maddison and discuss an extension to his current contract, which expires in 2024, and Rodgers has now confirmed that those talks are underway.
“I believe they’ve spoken,” Rodgers said. “Yeah, Jon [Rudkin, sporting director] has spoken to [Maddison’s representatives] a number of times.”
He added: “I’m pretty sure the club would want to do that. With James, with two years left, naturally the club would want to protect the asset. But it works both ways. If a player – not saying James – doesn’t want to sign it, then it can be a stalemate. Both sides have to be able to find an agreement.
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“But absolutely, he’s an outstanding player and of course, Leicester City would benefit from keeping him longer.
“He’s been brilliant. He’s a top-class player. He’s improving, developing and happy. Of course, he’s a top player at the level, so people will be interested in him, but I’ve seen no change in him whatsoever.”
Newcastle remain interested in Maddison but have baulked at his £60m price tag and are currently focusing on a move for Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta – a close friend of current Magpies midfielder Bruno Guimaraes