Jesse Lingard has reportedly emerged as Leicester City’s preferred option to replace James Maddison, should he depart for Arsenal.
According to football.london, Leicester City are lining up Jesse Lingard as a possible replacement for James Maddison if the Foxes’ playmaker leaves for Arsenal before the window closes. Lingard’s future remains at Manchester United uncertain, and Brendan Rodgers would like to bring him to the King Power Stadium.
While Arsenal are still way apart in meeting Leicester’s valuation of Maddison, the ex-Premier League champions are already planning for life after the playmaker’s departure. The Gunners have identified the 24-year-old as their primary creative midfielder target, although they are still negotiating the £60 million price tag placed on the English ace.
There were mentions of the north Londoners trying to include a player as part of the deal, but the Foxes ignored those overtures. The likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are all available for transfer, although Leicester are interested in none of those fringe stars.
Rodgers recently insisted the Maddison is happy at the club, yet the Foxes remain interested in a cash deal and will only listen to offers over £60 million. Having already agreed to a £25 million deal with Newcastle United for Joe Willock, Arsenal have made strides towards raising money for Maddison and are hopeful of conducting business before the close of the transfer window.
Realistically, a deal still hangs in the balance, although Arsenal have shown they have the spending power by purchasing Ben White for £50 million earlier. If they sign Maddison, Leicester already have a plan to replace him, with Manchester United ace Jesse Lingard their preferred target.
Lingard has endured a difficult period at Old Trafford ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge. From featuring regularly, the England star has gone down the pecking order at Manchester United. The arrival of Jadon Sancho and the possible revival of Donny van de Beek coupled with Bruno Fernandes’ form could mean less game time for the attacker.
In a loan deal, the midfielder displayed his talent at West Ham United when he joined them in January. His nine goals for the Hammers lifted them and helped them finish in the Europa League places. David Moyes has been keen on reuniting with his former Manchester United, but West Ham’s interest has cooled off since Solskjaer suggested he’s part of his plans.
However, that stance could change before the window shuts, although it remains to be seen how much Manchester United would demand for Lingard in this market. The Foxes would be willing to pay a reasonable price, but not over the odds for someone who may not have a resale value in the future.