Newcastle United transfer news: Magpies ‘start talks’ over Chelsea raid, Toon ‘knock on door’ for £8.4m winger swoop

Eddie Howe has issued a brief response to reports of a Newcastle United bid for James Maddison.

The club has reportedly had a £40million bid for the attacking midfielder rejected by Leicester City. And Howe was asked if he could say anything about Newcastle’s interest in Maddison after this afternoon’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at St James’s Park.

Asked if he was hopeful of signing a player before next weekend’s Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest, Howe said: “We’re trying. We’d love to add to the squad before Saturday’s game, but there’s no guarantee.”

Newcastle have signed three players – Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett – so far this summer at a cost of around £60million.

Meanwhile, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin were on target against Athletic.

The game followed a 1-0 win over Atalanta on Friday, and Howe said: “The last two games have been brilliant exercises for us. Two top teams, two different XIs, so a big test for our squad. Two games, and two positive results and performances.”

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