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Ayoze Perez claims James Maddison to Newcastle looked likely

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Newcastle United were looking likely to sign James Maddison before Tottenham Hotspur pounced for the playmaker.

Tottenham Hotspur fans are loving James Maddison but he could have ended up at Newcastle United instead.

Maddison has made an enormous impact since joining Tottenham over the summer.

The 26-year-old has been the driving force in Ange Postecoglou’s side, already coming up with two goals and two assists in four Premier League games.

The £40million Tottenham paid for Maddison now looks like a relative bargain in a market dominated by big-money midfielders.

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Tottenham could have missed out on James Maddison

Tottenham obviously weren’t the only club looking to sign Maddison following Leicester City’s relegation.

Newcastle United had targeted Maddison in 2022 and were still keen earlier this year.

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Maddison’s former Leicester teammate Ayoze Perez – a former Newcastle player – has now offered some insight about the England international.

Perez has told The Chronicle that Maddison to Newcastle was ‘very likely to happen’ since last season.

The Spaniard claims that Maddison was often talking about how he loved playing at St James’ Park, but Tottenham still managed to snap him up.

“Since last season, it was very likely to happen,” said Perez. “But, in the end, it was Tottenham that went and signed him. He also liked that option. He also had that option in mind but, you know, football and business in this kind of situation, anything can happen.”

“He always mentioned it was a great ground to play at. He always liked it. It was an option for him to sign at some point for Newcastle. It was one of his favourites. Definitely. It’s one of the best in the Prem. You can smell football there with the atmosphere and everything around the stadium is great,” he added.

Leicester City v Southampton - Premier League
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Newcastle United went for Sandro Tonali rather than Maddison

Newcastle did sign a big-money midfielder this summer as Sandro Tonali came in from AC Milan.

We expected Newcastle to either sign a natural number six or an attacking playmaker like Maddison.

In the end, Tonali arrived and doesn’t really fit either role in the Newcastle midfield alongside Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes.

So far, Newcastle’s midfield hasn’t quite worked out with Tonali playing a fairly advanced role and Bruno not a natural holder.

Both are top-quality midfield players and Eddie Howe will be confident that they can work through the early problems this season, but Spurs are facing no such problems with Maddison right now.

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