Leicester City have rejected Arsenal’s latest players-plus-cash offer for midfielder James Maddison, claims a report. Maddison has become Mikel Arteta’s number one attacking target, according to a number of sources.
“Arsenal are pursuing a deal” for the attacking midfielder, according to The Guardian. While football.london and Football Insider suggest Arteta has Maddison at the forefront of his thinking.
Arteta wanted to sign Martin Odegaard once again after his successful loan spell from Real Madrid last season. That deal looks out of reach though and the Gunners are now focused on Maddison.
The Guardian suggest Arsenal will have to make sales before pushing ahead for Maddison, who is understood to be open to a move.
Maddison is understood to be eager to push himself on to the international stage and thinks a move to Arsenal could elevate him.
Leicester, who qualified for the Europa League, are not under pressure to sell. The report though claims it is understood they could demand at least £60m for the 24-year-old, if he chases a move.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has recently warned Arsenal away from Maddison, who remains under contract until 2024 after renewing his deal last summer.
“In conversations with the club, we don’t have to sell. That’s something that’s been made clear,” said Rodgers. The players want to stay. It’s a really exciting time at the club.
“There’s lots of gossip and speculation around but I’m loving working with the guys here. They love being here, and we certainly have no need to sell.
“So I would suspect we’re looking to keep our best players.”
Arsenal though have been encouraged by Maddison and the Gunners have in fact lodged a cash offer, along with Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
That has been rejected by Leicester, who have “no interest” in the Arsenal duo. The outlet also claim Leicester’s price tag for Maddison is £70m.
Leicester have added Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Ryan Bertrand to their squad. But in recent years they have made one big sale each summer.
Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Harry Maguire and Riyad Mahrez have all left the Foxes and Maddison could well follow that trend.