Leicester sneak ahead of Tottenham in race for James Maddison

Leicester City plan to use their summer windfall from the sale of Riyad Mahrez to steal James Maddison from under the noses of Tottenham, according to the Sun. 

Mauricio Pochettino, who has made a habit of developing young English talent, has reportedly had his eye on the Norwich City playmaker for quite some time and would be disappointed to miss out on his signature.

What’s the story, then?

Mahrez was close to joining Manchester City in January but a deal did not get done. Despite his reintegration into the Foxes ranks, Claude Puel is reportedly resigned to losing the Algerian in the summer.

The Frenchman plans to use the money raised from the sale of Mahrez to splash out for Maddison. The reported price tag is £17m but the expected windfall would allow them to go even higher than that if necessary.

Spurs are named in the report as an interested party and Leicester’s growing confidence in signing the English starlet is evidence that Pochettino looks set to miss out.

Gametime may be the issue

Given that Puel is looking to Maddison to replace Mahrez, we get an impression of how highly he is rated at the King Power and how central his role would be.

Spurs on the other hand, could offer Champions League football but as part of a rotation system which has seen even experienced internationals like Lucas struggle to force their way into the first-team picture.

Pochettino would be brilliant for Maddison’s development and not many would bet against the playmaker getting into the senior England setup if he arrived in North London but he wouldn’t be a guaranteed starter right way.

Leicester have European ambitions of their own and putting Maddison right at the heart of it, alongside international team-mate Demarai Gray may well just be enough to tip the balance – along with the huge cash injection Mahrez’s departure would bring in.