Sat 13 Apr 2024, 09:03 · Ash Harrison

'Never come close': Eddie Howe has shed light on one the biggest transfer rumour of last summer

'Never come close': Eddie Howe has shed light on one the biggest transfer rumour of last summer
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Newcastle United had a decent summer transfer window, albeit one that looks really poor in retrospect due to suspensions and injuries, but at the time we were all fairly happy.

There was one player, though, who was constantly linked with a move to Tyneside. The links started in the January window and continued well into the summer as Newcastle's scouts were spotted at several Leicester City games.

Then when relegation was confirmed for The Foxes, media outlets were certain that James Maddison was on his way to Newcastle.

Even after being questioned about it and acting really coy while on England duty at the Qatar World Cup, all signs pointed towards Maddison becoming a Newcastle player.

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Maddison will face Newcastle for the first time as a Spurs player today

Maddison to Newcastle was never going to happen

As we now know, our scouts weren't watching James Maddison, but were actually running the rule over Harvey Barnes who ultimately made a £39m switch from Leicester to Newcastle whereas James Maddison joined Tottenham Hotspur.

Newcastle fans were furious as they were convinced Maddison was practically a done deal, but was never meant to be.

Now, with Maddison set to face Newcastle for the first time since his summer move in today's early kick-off, Eddie Howe has told reporters (via The Chronicle) the truth behind the Maddison deal that never was.


Howe is a long-term admirer of James Maddison

While Newcastle were interested in Maddison, and Howe is an admirer of his, the reality is that a deal was never close. Certainly not as close as we were led to believe.

"I don't think he was ever close in the literal sense of coming here, but he's a player that I've admired for many years. He's outstanding. I watched him play for Coventry many years ago and liked him straight away.

"He's never come close to signing for me but, regardless of that, he's a player I think is an outstanding talent and, when he's been fit, he's really excelled with Ange's style. He's certainly a player we are going to have to keep quiet."