Leicester City have received a potentially significant boost ahead of the upcoming campaign, with key midfielder James Maddison appearing more likely to remain at the club.
The highly-rated 24-year-old has been linked with a move to fellow Premier League side Arsenal over the summer, but a recent report from The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath claims that the capital club are more likely to sign Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard.
“They are also still interested in Martin Odegaard, who excelled on loan from Real Madrid last season, and their pursuit of the Norwegian could go into the final days of the window,” McGrath wrote.
“Odegaard is a more likely option than Leicester City’s James Maddison, who has also been of interest.”
News that the Gunners have reportedly turned their attention to Odegaard will leave Leicester supporters buzzing.
Maddison has established himself as a key figure for the Foxes since arriving at the King Power Stadium back in 2018, scoring 27 goals and providing 20 assists in 119 appearances for Brendan Rodgers’ charges, winning the FA Cup and Community Shield along the way.
It is a measure of his importance to the team that he was their highest-ranked player on WhoScored for their Europa League run last season, as well as their second-highest during the 2019/20 Premier League.
His impressive performances for the Midlands club over the last three years attracted the attention of the Arsenal hierarchy, who offered an ambitious player-plus-cash deal for his services.
The capital club made Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles available for Leicester after baulking at their £60m asking price for Maddison, but Rodgers and director of football Jon Rudkin weren’t interested.
With Leicester in an extremely healthy position due to Maddison’s current contract not expiring until the summer of 2024, Arsenal appear to have moved on to a cheaper alternative to the Englishman, allowing Foxes fans to breathe a sigh of relief.
Rodgers will now be hoping that the 24-year-old can return to top form and fire the club to a top-four finish next May, something which has cruelly evaded them since the Northern Irishman’s arrival from Celtic two-and-a-half years ago.