Two Newcastle United targets could suffer relegation on Sunday, and Paul Merson believes that will lead to them being sold this summer.
Leicester City are on the brink of dropping down into the Championship, with even a win on the final day potentially not enough to save them.
They need to beat West Ham to have any chance of surviving, and then the Foxes must hope that Everton slip up against Bournemouth.
If that doesn’t happen, they will be relegated from the Premier League, which Merson believes will inevitably lead to James Maddison and Harvey Barnes leaving the club.
Merson thinks Maddison and Barnes are too good for the Championship
As part of his Premier League predictions for Sportskeeda, Merson has tipped Leicester to beat West Ham, but has spoke about what relegation could mean for some of their star players.
“I think Leicester will win and stay up but if they don’t, the likes of James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes will leave as they are too good to be playing in the Championship,” he wrote.
While Merson is right about players leaving Leicester, his prediction about them staying up makes no sense – because he has also said Everton will win. He has completely contradicted himself.
Leicester relegation could help Newcastle
Regardless, relegation will open the door for Maddison and Barnes to leave. There is absolutely no way they will stay with Leicester if they are in the Championship. As Merson says, they are far too good.
Relegation could actually help Newcastle, as it might mean they are able to negotiate cheaper deals for either Maddison or Barnes – or both if that is the route Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth want to go down.
Given Maddison’s contract situation, they need to sell this summer otherwise risk losing him for nothing in 2024. Now they might have to sell him for even less in the Championship, as the Foxes will be under pressure to raise funds due to the loss of revenue amid falling out of the Premier League.
Of course, they might still stay up. They need results to go their way, but there is still no guarantee that Leicester are relegated.
But while it is not nice seeing any club go down, it could certainly boost Newcastle’s chances of signing one of their top summer targets.