Arsenal have made a cash-plus-player offer to Leicester City for attacking midfielder James Maddison via an intermediary, according to a report.
It is essential for Arsenal to find a new attacking midfielder while the transfer window is still open, and preferably before the season kicks off. In that position, they had Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid during the second half of last season. But despite their dreams of luring him back, they are having to consider other options now.
Emile Smith Rowe has signed a long-term contract following his rise to prominence. But it wouldn’t be fair to expect too much too soon from the youngster. Therefore, Arsenal are on the lookout for another player to provide creativity.
Their top target, according to Football.London, is Leicester playmaker Maddison. The number 10 has been at the King Power Stadium since 2018 and the highlight of his stay came in May, when the Foxes won the FA Cup.
Despite another European campaign looming with Leicester, Maddison may be considering his future. While Arsenal have no continental involvement for the campaign ahead, they are a traditionally bigger club. Therefore, they still would be an attractive destination.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has recently warned Arsenal away from Maddison, who remains under contract until 2024 after renewing his deal last summer.
But Arsenal appear determined and according to Football.London have submitted a proposal via an intermediary.
The website claims the Gunners have offered Leicester one of their fringe players as a makeweight for Maddison. The former Norwich City star comes with a £60m price tag, which is just out of reach for those at the Emirates Stadium.
But by including someone like Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah or Reiss Nelson (the report does not claim to know which one has been offered), Arsenal could drive the price down.
It appears Arsenal are not Maddison’s only admirers, though. The report claims another London club have also made a similar suggestion. While the club is not named, it could realistically only be Tottenham or West Ham.
Arsenal though will be hoping it is they who get to benefit from the 24-year-old’s talents.
Odegaard off the menu
Their pursuit of Maddison would seem to indicate that their chances of signing Odegaard are over. Indeed, reports in Spain indicate that is the case.
According to ABC, Odegaard has held talks with Carlo Ancelotti, who recently left Everton to return to Real Madrid as coach.
There have been suggestions that Real will allow the Norway international to leave if he wants to. Odegaard would be open to re-joining Arsenal, but also still has hopes of making it at the Bernabeu.
It seems he has been tempted in the latter direction, though, after Ancelotti told him he will be an important player for him next season.
During Ancelotti’s previous spell in Spain, he distanced himself from the starlet. However, it seems they have turned a new page and will be working together in 2021-22.
With Arsenal’s hopes fading, they are looking at the homegrown route with Maddison instead, who would be just as good a signing.