Newcastle 'interested' in £100k-a-week Maddison alternative at St James' Park

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe looking very happy

Newcastle United hold an interest in Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley and could consider a bid if they fail in their pursuit of James Maddison this summer, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Eddie Howe is readying his side for the start of the Premier League season but some new faces could still arrive at St James’ Park before the September 1 deadline.

What is the latest on the pursuit of Maddison?

The Magpies submitted their first bid for the Leicester City ace over the weekend, with their £40 million offer swiftly rejected.

However, as per Sky Sports, Newcastle have returned with a second offer closer to £50 million, although it remains some way short of the Foxes’ £60 million asking price.

It has been a surprisingly quiet window for the North-East club so far this summer with just three new faces signing in the form of Sven Botman, Matt Targett and Nick Pope.

Attacking and creative reinforcements appear to be next on the cards, however, and Maddison has emerged as a leading target. Fellow Leicester ace Harvey Barnes is also under consideration.

But according to Jones, a new contender has emerged in case Newcastle are unable to land their top target in the form of Barkley.

What has Jones said about the club’s transfer hunt?

Jones understands that interest is growing in Ross Barkley at St James’ Park and it could be a target they turn to later in the window.

Barkley has been strongly linked with a return to Everton this summer but the transfer insider adds his Goodison Park return may not materialise.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “I have heard there is some interest from Newcastle in Ross Barkley, so maybe that is one they turn to later on if the James Maddison offers do not work out. Nothing has developed yet but it seems like there are stumbling blocks with him going back to Everton.”

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Would Barkley be a suitable alternative?

Maddison would be a huge signing for Newcastle this summer and the sort of statement deal new owners dream of making. But it appears the £60 million asking price may be slightly too high for now.

Nevertheless, targeting Barkley as an alternative seems like a strange move. While once upon a time the Everton academy graduate possessed similar traits to Maddison, there is no doubt his attacking edge has diminished in recent years.

In 99 appearances for Chelsea he has scored just 12 goals and contributed 11 assists. Maddison beat both tallies last season alone, with 18 goals and 12 assists.

With Barkley currently earning £100,000 per week at Stamford Bridge, it does not seem like a particularly sensible deal in any sense for Newcastle. Maddison will cost a lot more but also offer plenty.

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