Arsenal hope to hijack Man Utd’s move as Arteta eyes audacious swoop for £90m star
Arsenal are ready to do-battle with Manchester United over the signing of Leicester City’s £90m-rated midfielder James Maddison this summer
Arsenal are ready to do-battle with Manchester United over the signing of Leicester City’s £90m-rated midfielder James Maddison this summer, according to The Sun via the Daily Star.
Maddison came through the youth ranks at Coventry and enjoyed a two-year spell at Norwich but has developed into one of the most exciting young talents in British football since joining Leicester for around £20m in 2018.
The 23-year-old has provided 9 goals and 3 assists in his 25 appearances this season to help Leicester push for a Champions League qualification place and he’s hoping to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s Euro 2020 finals.
Maddison’s potential has also alerted other top English clubs as the Daily Star says Manchester United have identified him as their prime summer transfer target and are ready to splash around £80m to take the attacking midfielder to Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to revamp his squad if Man Utd are to become challengers again and it appears they are lining-up a big-money move for Maddison at the end of the season despite being tipped to sign Bruno Fernandes this winter.
However, it appears United will face stiff competition as the Daily Star are citing a report from The Sun that claims Arsenal have also identified Maddison as a key transfer target ahead of the summer window.
The report – which isn’t currently available to link to online as it must be in the print version of The Sun newspaper – says Mikel Arteta is a huge fan of Maddison and is ready to battle it out with Man Utd over his signature at the end of the season.
Arteta has limited funds to play with this month but the Arsenal boss is expected to be backed in the summer as he looks to overhaul the squad he inherited from Unai Emery following a disappointing campaign in north London.
Maddison would obviously be an excellent signing but the report suggests he would cost around £90m and it remains to be seen whether Arsenal would have that sort of money available to spend – especially if they miss out on Champions League football.
Plus, we have to question whether Maddison would even join Arsenal or Man Utd this summer. Leicester are on course to qualify for the Champions League as they are 11-points clear of fifth placed United and 17 ahead of Arsenal so it will take a huge collapse for Brendan Rodgers’ side not to finish in the top four.
Therefore, Arsenal and United may have to try and win the Europa League in order to qualify for Europe’s top competition and Maddison may be reluctant to leave Leicester for a club that can’t offer Champions League football next season.
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