This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Mirror, Manchester United will make a bid for Leicester City attacker James Maddison during the January transfer window.
United signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Harry Maguire during the summer, although the club did not bring a new attacking midfielder to Old Trafford despite a host of speculation.
Jesse Lingard has filled the number 10 spot in a 4-2-3-1 formation in the early stages of the campaign – but it would be fair to say that he has failed to impress.
Lingard has not actually scored in the Premier League since last December, whilst he has not registered a single assist in 2019. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to criticise the England international following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.
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However, there were audible cheers when the academy product was replaced in the second half, with 17-year-old Mason Greenwood introduced.
According to The Mirror, the Red Devils are eyeing a big-money swoop for Maddison, who is said to be valued by the Foxes in the region of £80m.
And whilst United would be keen to secure his signature in January, the club would be prepared to wait until next summer to secure the 22-year-old’s services.
Goals, assists and genuine quality in the final third of the field. Maddison managed seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League last season and he already has two assists in three league matches during the 2019-20 campaign.
The Leicester playmaker has averaged 2.3 key passes and 3.7 dribbles per game so far this season, while Lingard has managed just 0.7 and 1.3 respectively; the gulf in class is becoming glaringly obvious.
As the former Norwich City youngster was delivering a sensational pass for Jamie Vardy to score against Sheffield United on Saturday, Lingard was struggling to control the ball in United’s embarrassing home defeat to Palace.
A return of 18 assists in 170 appearances is just not good enough for an attacker turning out for United, who are in desperate need of added quality in the number ten position.
Earlier this month, a number of United fans took to social media to call on their club to sign Maddison as soon as possible, and it’s easy to sympathise with that point of view given the quality he has displayed since arriving at the King Power Stadium last summer.
The Mirror claims that the 20-time English champions would have to come up with an offer of £80m to bring Maddison to Old Trafford but, in the current market at least, he would be worth every penny.