Tottenham Hotspur playmaker James Maddison snubbed the advances of Chelsea this summer as he only had eyes for Ange Postecoglou’s side, according to a transfer insider.
Maddison was always going to leave Leicester City this summer following their relegation to the Championship, it was just a case of where he would end up. Newcastle United are known to be huge admirers of the attacking midfielder and they were described as being the frontrunners to land him on June 9.
However, Tottenham soon moved past Newcastle in the transfer chase and went on to agree personal terms with Maddison. The Magpies resultantly began pursuing Sandro Tonali instead.
On June 28, Tottenham announced Maddison’s arrival in North London. They paid Leicester £40million for the England international, and his contract with them will run until June 2028.
Maddison has had an immediate impact on Spurs, filling much of the creative void that was left by Harry Kane’s switch to Bayern.
Maddison – who wears Kane’s old No10 shirt – has notched two goals and two assists in his first four Premier League games for Spurs and looks set to become one of the most important players of the Postecoglou era.
However, things could have been far different for Maddison. During an interview with CaughtOffside, journalist Ben Jacobs has revealed Chelsea were interested in the 26-year-old too.
But the Blues never had any realistic chance of capturing Maddison as he swiftly decided on Spurs as his ‘preferred’ next destination.
Reporter outlines James Maddison failure for Chelsea
“The average age of Chelsea’s new signings this summer is just 20.5. And the average squad age is 22.5. That shows the project has been all about transforming the team and planning for the future,” Jacobs said.
“Chelsea’s strategy has been to largely look at players 25 years old and under. And it’s true they passed up on going for James Maddison, who is now 26. But that wasn’t really down to age alone.
“There will always be exceptions to the age ‘rule’. After all, Mauricio Pochettino is also very keen on having Premier League experience. That’s why Raheem Sterling is seen as so important this season.
“Chelsea looked at lots of targets, which is normal in a busy window. But they also knew Maddison preferred the move to Spurs. Maddison wanted London, which also counted against Newcastle who were very keen at one point but had moved on prior to Spurs’ bid. Maddison also wanted to settle his future quickly having just had new-born twins.”
Everyone at Spurs will be delighted that Maddison opted to reject Chelsea in favour of a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He has already formed a deadly partnership with captain Son Heung-min and, as mentioned previously, is set to become a crucial player.
We will never know whether Maddison could have helped Chelsea enjoy a more effective start to the campaign amid their struggles under Pochettino. But what is clear is that the West London outfit have missed out on a high-quality player.