Leicester City are reportedly demanding £70 million from Arsenal for playmaker James Maddison, although Martin Odegaard is also available again.

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal will have to stump up £70 million if they wish to sign James Maddison this summer from fellow Premier League outfit Leicester City. The English playmaker is of interest to the North London club as they re-build their squad using Mikel Arteta’s ideas of bringing in specific profiled players.

Arsenal’s interest in James Maddison would have come across as a surprise to many but not any more. In the last month or so, the Gunners have solidified their focus on the England star, as Mikel Arteta remains keen on a player who could provide some much-needed creativity.

The Gunners lacked creativity during the first half of last season, and the lack of goals was evidence enough of that problem. However, after Arteta introduced Emile Smith Rowe and brought Martin Odegaard on loan during the second half of the season, the team excelled and produced plenty of good results.

The twin introduction certainly helped Arsenal climb to 8th place on the Premier League table after languishing close to the relegation zone for some time last term. However, at the end of the season, Odegaard wanted a return to Real Madrid as he wished to fight for a place in the Merengues’ first-team; so, Arteta started looking at other targets.

Getting ready to wear a different jersey? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Getting ready to wear a different jersey? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Maddison has since become one of Arsenal’s priority targets, despite being so expensive. Arsenal have already agreed on personal terms with the England star and are prepared to pay him wages of around £200,000 per week on a four or five-year contract.

With personal terms out of the way, Arsenal will now have to negotiate a reasonable transfer fee with Leicester City to complete this transfer. Leicester initially demanded around £80 million, but recent reports suggest they could agree on a £70 million price.

Arsenal would like to bring that fee down to a reasonable sum. They are also ready to include players to sweeten the deal a bit. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is of interest to Leicester, and he could become part of the deal. The versatile Arsenal utility man is looking for a challenge away from the Emirates, and the Foxes could certainly fit his profile.

However, reports have emerged that Odegaard could be back in the market. News of his unhappiness in the Real Madrid camp have been circulating, and the Norwegian would like to return to Arsenal. Arteta certainly wanted him as the priority playmaker target earlier and a move could be on the cards. It will be interesting to see which way the Gunners move in the coming days.

Both players are equally appealing and bring something different to the current setup. Arteta and Arsenal already have a taste of Odegaard’s capabilities, although they remain keen and curious over Maddison’s explosive style of play. Either way, both players will cost a lot of money and certainly fit the young profile of players the Premier League giants are targetting for their re-build.

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