James Maddison: Facts and stats of Arsenal-linked midfielder
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Leicester City are weighing up a move for Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard to replace James Maddison in the event of a summer move to Arsenal, according to reports. The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with the Gunners in recent weeks as Mikel Arteta continues his search for a new attacking midfielder.
The Spaniard is also believed to be keen on a move for Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid, who excelled during the second half of last season while on loan at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spanish giants are reportedly mulling over his future and Arsenal are said have identified Maddison as their second-choice target as they continue to wait.
The Leicester man has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most coveted playmakers since joining the Foxes from Norwich City back in 2018.
Despite Arteta’s interest, a move for Maddison is expected to cost Arsenal upwards of £60million, with Leicester said to be looking to keep hold of their prized asset.
However, it seems as though contingency plans are being made at the King Power Stadium, which could ultimately be good news for the Gunners.
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Leicester are lining up a move for Lingard to replace Maddison if the latter departs for Arsenal, according to football.london.
The United man has been linked with a summer move elsewhere since returning from a fruitful loan spell at West Ham, during which he scored nine goals in 16 appearances.
Lingard is believed to be keen on fighting for his place at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously suggesting that he will keep the midfielder around to provide cover for the likes of Bruno Fernandes this season.
However, there is a chance that he could be persuaded with the promise of regular first-team football at Leicester, who will be eyeing a top-four finish.
Their decision to explore a move for the 28-year-old suggests that an impending switch to north London could be within the realms of possibility for Maddison.
He is reportedly open to the idea of joining Arsenal, who have already spent £73m on the signings of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Ben White this summer.
Despite the speculation around Maddison’s future, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers recently declared that he is likely to stay in the east Midlands.
The 48-year-old underlined the playmaker’s importance to his side ahead of their Community Shield triumph over Manchester City on Saturday.
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“I know he is very happy here and he wants to be here,” Rodgers told reporters.
“If anything comes to the club, Jon Rudkin [director of football] would tell me straight away and I would deal with it then, but there has been nothing that’s come my way.
“I’ve not been told anything to say [he won’t stay]. He is happy in training and he is working hard, and he is a talented, important member of the squad.
“He had his season disrupted by injury last year, but hopefully this season he can show what a real top player he is.”
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