Manchester United’s prospects of luring James Maddison away from Leicester any time soon have been given a firm thumbs down by pundit Alan Shearer.
The Foxes playmaker is thought to be on United’s list of midfield targets as they look to add more goals and creativity to their midfield, though United’s impending swoop for Bruno Fernandes – which on Monday took a significant step forwards – could yet alter their transfer thinking.
Harry Maguire made the switch from the King Power to Old Trafford over the summer, but he’s effectively swapped a side near-certain of Champions League football next season to one struggling to make the grade.
And while, traditionally United are a far bigger club than the Foxes, Shearer believes a move to Old Trafford for Maddison would be a significant step down.
“I totally understand why, if it’s true, Manchester United would want James Maddison because he’s a very, very good player,” Shearer told Coral.
“But I would be amazed if Leicester were to let him go in this transfer window. The way things are going at Leicester, the way he’s playing, what is at stake for Leicester… I cannot see them letting one of their top players go this January.
“If I was him, yes [I’d want to stay at Leicester] at this moment in time. When you look at the situation that Manchester United are in in terms of challenging for top four, how much they have to improve, the time that will take.
“I understand that they’re a huge football club but, in terms of where James Maddison is at this moment in time, I think he’s better off staying at Leicester certainly until the end of the season and then weigh things up again then.”
Reports last week had suggested United could offer Jesse Lingard and £45m to tempt the Foxes into the sale, but Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was quick to quash the speculation.
“You’re all talking speculation. I don’t talk about speculation and gossip. James is a very, very talented player, a wonderful player and he will be here in January and beyond,” Rodgers stated.
Asked about Manchester United’s reported interest, Rodgers said: “There’s no message, it’s a month and pre-January there’s lots of speculation around lots of our players which is great because they’re talents and it means they and the team and doing very well.
“But nobody will leave here in January, that’s for sure. We want to add to the squad if we can.
“It’s been a fantastic first part of the season for us and we’ve started the second well so we want to continue with that rhythm and continuity with the player, developing them and the team and then see where we arrive at the end of the season.
“There’s no pressure to sell him and no need for us to sell. Our idea is to keep the squad together and can we add to it rather than diminish the quality.”