By Noel Whelan

1st Aug, 2022 | 3:30pm

Pundit's verdict on James Maddison accepting Newcastle United offer after source's £60m update

Noel Whelan has insisted James Maddison will not see Newcastle as a step down despite their lack of recent success.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed Leicester are in a “vulnerable position” as they prepare to lose a number of key stars in the coming seasons.

Football Insider revealed on Monday (1 August) that the Foxes have slapped a £60million price tag on Maddison, 25, after rejecting a £40million offer from Newcastle.

Leicester are the only Premier League club not to sign a single senior player this summer, and it is understood that they need to sell to raise funds for purchases.

Maddison, who has two years remaining on his contract, notched 18 goals and 12 assists in the 2021-22 campaign.

Whelan insisted a Newcastle move would be a “step up” for the England international despite winning the FA Cup and playing European football with Leicester in recent memory.

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He claimed Leicester will struggle to replace the likes of Youri Tielemans and Kasper Schmeichel.

“I think Leicester are in a vulnerable position right now,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“They’ll be losing Schmeichel and Tielemans as well, and Jamie Vardy isn’t getting any younger. They are the two talismans at that football club.

“There’s going to be a real change and a shift at that club – where can you replace them? They’ve not brought anyone in, and we know why. It just seems that they are very vulnerable.

“I think it’s a step up for Maddison to go to Newcastle. Things are changing, and it’s a club on the up.

“Leicester are just losing players, while Newcastle will have their eyes on breaking into the top six.”

In other news, pundit claims Allan Saint-Maximin could be at Newcastle for “six more years” after update.