Arsenal and Tottenham are ready to clash over the signing of Leicester’s James Maddison this summer after the Foxes finally decided to place him on the transfer market, with a report revealing just how much the Englishman will cost.
Maddison has long been linked with a move away from Leicester. Last summer, both Tottenham and Newcastle were in the mix for his signature.
Newcastle made several offers to Leicester but did not quite reach his full valuation. Newcastle’s highest bid came in at £50million, which was made up of an initial £45m payment and an extra £5m through add-ons.
However, this did not match Leicester’s price tag, which sat at £60m at the time.
Leicester were in a strong negotiating position last summer as the attacking midfielder had two years left to run on his contract, while the east Midlands outfit had just finished eighth in the Premier League.
However, Maddison is almost certain to depart Leicester in the next transfer window. He has refused to pen a new contract, which means Leicester must let him leave this summer or risk a free-transfer exit in 2024. Leicester are also involved in a relegation fight as they sit in 19th place with just 25 points.
After registering nine goals and six assists in 23 league games this season, Maddison has proven himself to be Leicester’s best player, and he has simply outgrown them.
According to Sportskeeda, who cite reports emerging from Spain, the Leicester board have finally admitted defeat and put Maddison up for sale.
Arsenal, Tottenham vying for creative spark
It is claimed that Arsenal and Spurs are the main clubs interested in the creative midfielder. This sets up an intriguing transfer battle between the north London rivals.
Liverpool and Newcastle may also begin talks with Leicester for Maddison. Those two clubs are tracking his situation as well.
Maddison’s price tag has not changed much since Newcastle tried to land him last summer. Leicester have told his potential suitors they will sign off on his exit if a £61m proposal arrives.
It is now up to Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Newcastle to decide whether Maddison is worth that much. Given his form this campaign and the huge money other players are going for, those teams will probably decide that a £61m move for Maddison is worth it.
He has the ability to bring plenty of goals to whichever Premier League side he ends up going to.
If the transfer race comes down to a straight fight between Arsenal and Spurs, then Mikel Arteta’s side will have a clear advantage.
The Gunners are fighting to win their first league title since 2003-04, whereas Spurs sit in fifth spot and are at risk of missing out on Champions League qualification.
Maddison would prefer to join a team fighting for trophies and competing in the Champions League when leaving Leicester, so Arsenal will be in pole position to snap him up.
Another factor to consider is Spurs’ managerial situation. They are looking for a new head coach after Antonio Conte’s departure.
Maddison will be concerned about going to Spurs when he does not know who their next boss will be. In contrast, Arsenal will not be letting Arteta go under any circumstances after the brilliant work he has done for them.