Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their chase to sign James Maddison, by offering Leicester City cash plus a player in exchange.
According to Chris Wheatley at Football.london, Arsenal have made their first real move towards signing James Maddison by making a player-plus-cash offer. The Gunners hope to reduce Leicester City’s asking price for the England international, but there’s a long way to go before anything progresses.
It has been a hectic few days at Arsenal. The Gunners first announced their capture of Ben White from Brighton and put the Granit Xhaka issue to bed. The club have offered a new contract to the Swiss, who flirted with Roma all summer long. In addition, they had to contend with an untimely injury to key midfielder Thomas Partey.
By resolving the Xhaka situation, Arsenal may no longer need a new top quality central midfielder and instead focus their efforts on signing a striker and, more importantly, a creative midfielder. For the forward option, the club are linked with an ambitious move for Lautaro Martinez and Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham.
However, the club have taken the first steps towards their top attacking midfield target, James Maddison. The Leicester City ace is expected to cost around £60-£70 million, and reports indicate Arsenal may be willing to fork out the money. However, the Gunners are attempting to reduce this said transfer fee.
The club are keen on including one of their fringe players to convince Leicester to slash their asking price. The likes of Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are all available for transfer, as Arsenal are hoping the Foxes chose one.
Leicester were showing interest in Maitland-Niles early on, and he could be an option in the trade. The Gunners’ hopes are boosted with the report suggesting Maddison might be keen on the move, making matters easier for Arsenal in their negotiations with Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The Gunners were also reportedly willing to make a bumper 200,000-a-week offer for the Foxes’ ace. Mikel Arteta is a keen admirer of the England international and views him as an important cog to his system at Arsenal. The manager has successfully gotten players of his liking and age profile as the Spaniard prepares to rebuild the squad.
Martin Odegaard might have been Arteta’s primary target for the attacking midfield role. The Norwegian, who played the last six months at the Emirates on loan from Real Madrid, returned to Spain. He wanted to fight for a place under Carlo Ancelotti, although there are fresh doubts over his prospects with the Spanish giants. Recent reports suggested Odegaard might be available again, but he still hasn’t made up his mind completely.
Arsenal may readily move for the Norwegian if things were clear on all sides. However, the club are now focusing on Maddison and hope to sign him up before the transfer window shuts. In all, the Leicester City star will be a great addition to Arteta’s side and surely one that will let others take notice of the Gunners’ ambition for the upcoming season.