Leicester City are expected to receive a bid from Arsenal for their key midfielder James Maddison over the coming weeks as the transfer window starts to take shape.
According to a reliable transfer source on the Gunners, AFC Bell, the north London outfit will offer the 24-year-old a four-year contract with the option of a fifth and a salary of £200,000, doubling what he currently earns at Leicester.
A report in the Daily Star claims Arsenal’s interest has been well received by Maddison and his representatives, with Mikel Arteta viewing the England international as his primary transfer target this summer.
News that Arsenal are set to follow up their interest in Maddison with a concrete offer and lucrative contract will surely leave Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers feeling gutted.
The former Norwich City ace has grown into a crucial player for the Foxes over the last couple of campaigns, and his departure would be a huge setback in their development.
Despite injuries significantly limiting Maddison’s playing time throughout 2020/21, the creative force still recorded some very respectable numbers while on the pitch.
In 42 appearances across all competitions, he bagged 11 goals and provided a further 10 assists to his teammates as the Midlands outfit finished in fifth place in the Premier League standings.
A poor run of form at the end of the season saw Maddison miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020, though, but that seemingly wasn’t enough to deter Arteta.
The Spanish tactician has identified the technically gifted Englishman as the perfect replacement for Martin Odegaard following his return to Real Madrid, although he’s reportedly aware any deal will be difficult to pull off.
Maddison still has three years remaining on his contract with Leicester, meaning Arsenal will have to pay a premium price to prize him away from the King Power Stadium.
However, with the likes of David Luiz and Matteo Guendouzi already departing and Granit Xhaka expected to follow suit, Arteta may be able to raise the required funds to secure his man, potentially leaving Rodgers without one of his prized assets next season.