Arsenal are keen to land Leicester City midfielder James Maddison this summer
Arsenal will have to pay more than £70million to sign James Maddison from Leicester City this summer according to reports. The Gunners are keen to land the midfielder to solve their creative struggles but may be forced to break their transfer record to get their man after reaching agreement on personal terms.
The most Arsenal have ever paid for a player is £72m when they brought Nicolas Pepe to the club from Lille in 2019, but they will likely need to eclipse that to sign Maddison.
Maddison was named on the bench for Leicester during their 1-0 pre-season defeat at Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday evening.
The 24-year-old was introduced for the second-half as boss Brendan Rodgers made 11 changes at the break.
But Leicester’s line up in the second period reflected that of a second string and the former Liverpool manager may have been sending a message to Maddison, who has been at King Power Stadium for three years.
The Foxes don’t want to sell Maddison, who has a contract until the summer of 2024 and, according to Sky Sports, won’t even consider an offer under their valuation of the player.
But former Arsenal left-back Nigel Winterburn believes Maddison would be a good signing for the north London side.
“I’d like Arsenal to sign James Maddison as he already has that Premier League experience, so you’re not talking about a settling-in period,” Winterburn told GentingBet.
“He’s a talented player – certainly very, very creative on the ball and that’s the type of player Arsenal need.
“Arsenal have signed up Emile Smith Rowe on a long-term contract but could still need another creative player to help take them forward.
“In terms of whether Arsenal would be a step up, Leicester have won the league. They’ve consistently done very, very well in the last couple of seasons.
So, I think that would be very rude to say it would be a step up for him.
“In terms of club stature, Arsenal is massive. For me, I say it all the time – it was a privilege to be part of the club and stay for so long.”
Maddison has been a star performer for Leicester since his £22.5m move from Norwich City.
The midfielder has made 98 Premier League appearances for the Foxes, returning 21 goals in that time.
He was part of the side which defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup final in May as Leicester lifted the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Leicester missed out on a Champions League place on the final day of last season but did secure a Europa League spot.
If Maddison were to move to Arsenal, he would face another season without European football as Arsenal finished eighth last time out.