Manager makes ‘tapping up’ comment amid Newcastle United £50m transfer talk & social media tease

Newcastle United transfers: England manager Gareth Southgate made light of the transfer speculation regarding some of his players as Newcastle prepare to make a move for James Maddison.
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Newcastle have been heavily linked with a move for Maddison after having two bids rejected by Leicester City last summer. But with Leicester now relegated from the Premier League, The Magpies are set to make another offer.

The 26-year-old is set to leave Leicester this summer with Newcastle’s Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur also interested.

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But it’s not just Maddison, several members of the England squad are subject to transfer speculation this summer including Declan Rice, Conor Gallagher and Harry Kane.

And England boss Southgate joked that his players were ‘tapping each other up’ in preparation for their Euro 2024 qualifier matches. The Three Lions beat Malta 4-0 on Friday evening and face North Macedonia at Old Trafford on Monday night (7:45pm kick-off).

“I haven’t felt the need to say anything,” Southgate said during a press conference when asked about transfer speculation. “I mean the players are tapping each other up anyway on the quiet so I can’t do anything about that!

“What I have said is these things run their course, they happen in their own time, you can’t force it as a player. You’ve got to accept that, don’t get frustrated, don’t be asking all summer. You don’t need to be updated on every call that happens.

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“There is a lot of negotiations that go on and I remember as a player getting too wrapped up in every detail in that and in the end, there is only a small amount that you can actually control.

“I think all of those things will happen later on in the summer and I think the players will understand that really and they know that the focus of the next 36 hours is this game and finishing the season well, making sure we sit on 12 points and we will be in a very healthy position if we do that.”

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson scored from the penalty spot in the win over Malta and has been training alongside transfer target Maddison all week. The pair know eachother well having progressed through Coventry City’s academy system and were briefly team-mates before Wilson joined AFC Bournemouth in 2014.

The Magpies No. 9 teased the Maddison move on social media by posting a photo of him grabbing the Leicester midfielder with the caption: “Newcastle is this way @MADDERS.”