Transfer News: James Maddison open to Arsenal switch

James Maddison is reportedly keen on moving to Arsenal, which opens up possibilities for the Gunners to negotiate a deal with Leicester City.

According to The Guardian, James Maddison remains keen on moving to Arsenal this summer. At the same time, Leicester City are demand around £60 million for the midfielder, and the Gunners have indicated their willingness to conclude a deal.

Arsenal’s summer plans have seen changes in the last few days. The situation surrounding Granit Xhaka and his impending departure was the most serious concern at the Emirates. Had the Swiss star left, Arsenal could have been forced to spend big on a replacement, as Mikel Arteta considered central midfield a key area to be reinforced.

However, with Xhaka now set to stay and sign a bumper new contract, Arteta has switched his focus towards signing an attacking midfielder before the window closes. Initially, Martin Odegaard was the Arsenal manager’s preferred option after the Norwegian successfully spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates.

Arsenal bound? (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Arsenal bound? (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The Norwegian has since returned to Real Madrid, thus shunning any advances from Arsenal at the moment, although there have been suggestions that he is open to returning to the Emirates. Arteta is now pushing the Gunners to sign Leicester City star James Maddison, as he views the English playmaker as ideal for the club.

The Foxes finished the previous season in the Europa League places and have already strengthened their squad after bringing in Paston Daka and Boubakary Soumare. In general, Leicester do not need to sell, although their transfer policies across the last few seasons indicate a pattern; where they have sold one big name each summer to increase their transfer budget.

The Gunners had reportedly offered the attacking midfielder a bumper £200,000-a-week contract. Those personal terms are likely to be accepted by the England star. Maddison seems keen on joining Arsenal, which could be surprising given the North London side are not playing in Europe.

The Gunners have already spent around £75 million on three new signings. The most expensive of the lot was Ben White, who completed his £50 million move from Brighton. Arsenal may be short on funds to prise Maddison away, but selling some fringe players could generate cash.

Arsenal reportedly took the first steps towards beginning negotiations with Leicester by sounding out a possible offer. They have proposed a cash-plus-player deal to reduce the £60 million asking price. The Foxes can choose one from the list comprising Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

There’s still a month left before the transfer window closes, and Arsenal will likely step up their chase of Maddison. The Gunners remain hopeful of concluding a deal, although, with all big transfers, this one too could also drag until deadline day.

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