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.
United’s head coach said: “Predictable answer, No.”
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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 last night, 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.”
The two games allowed Howe to give the bulk of his players 90-minute run-outs.
“The first half was good,” said Howe. “There were a lot of fluid attacks, and some good individual displays. It was a good collective display, and I thought we looked dangerous.
"In the second half, similar to yesterday, I thought we suffered when the changes were made. Their fresh legs were against our tired bodies, but that’s the beauty of the exercise of playing two games in two days.”