Arsenal are reportedly readying an opening offer of £60 million as they look to swoop English playmaker James Maddison away from Leicester City this summer.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison is at the top of the summer transfer wishlist for Premier League rivals Arsenal, who are now plotting an initial offer of £60 million for the 24-year-old.
Maddison came through the youth ranks at Coventry City before making the switch to Norwich City in 2014. With the Canaries, the Englishman rose to prominence before being snapped up by Leicester City in the summer of 2018. Since his move to the King Power Stadium, the 24-year-old has established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the country.
Indeed, Maddison has had a huge hand in Leicester establishing themselves as a top-six club under Brendan Rodgers, managing 27 goals and 20 assists from 118 appearances for the Foxes to date. The 24-year-old enjoyed another fine season last time out, even though his form dipped towards the end after an injury layoff, finishing with a tally of 11 goals and 10 assists from 46 games in all competitions.
One of the best chance-creators in the Premier League, Maddison also offers a goal-threat from range. And these qualities have turned him into a wanted commodity in the transfer market, with Arsenal now keen on securing the services of the one-time capped England international.
Arsenal are in the market for a creative midfielder this summer after having struggled with the lack of one in the first half of the last season. The January signing of Martin Odegaard, on loan from Real Madrid, and the integration of Emile Smith Rowe did help matters since the turn of the year, but Odegaard is back at his parent club now, who are demanding a premium fee for the Norwegian.
With Smith Rowe still in the budding stages of his career, it only makes sense for Mikel Arteta to bring in another playmaker who can share the burden of chance-creation with the young Englishman and his compatriot fellow Arsenal academy product, Bukayo Saka. To that end, Emiliano Buendia had emerged as a target, but the Gunners saw him opt to sign for Aston Villa instead.
So, while the interest in signing Odegaard permanently remains, Arsenal have now identified Maddison as another option who can help elevate the team to the next level and are readying an offer of £60 million for him. However, they will have a tough job convincing Leicester to part ways with the 24-year-old given as they handed him a new long-term contract only in August last year.
In addition, the Foxes had rejected a bid of £70 million for the Englishman from a different English club. But Arsenal are still pushing ahead with a lower offer of £60 million, believing that the right package and structure could help them clinch the deal.
Apart from Leicester’s own stance, it would also be hard to fathom Maddison trading a club that won the FA Cup and will be playing in the UEFA Europa League next term for a team that finished in the top half by the skin of their teeth and will offer no European football.