Reports from Sky Sports and others suggest that Arsenal are testing Leicester City’s resolve by making enquiries about James Maddison. The Gunners have been tentatively linked with the 24-year-old this summer but reports are linking the club with a more concrete approach for the midfielder.
Sky Sports report that Arsenal are definitely interested in Maddison, but it would require offers in excess of £70m to make Leicester consider selling him.
A more extensive account comes from The AFC Bell, a Twitter account with a good track record of providing accurate Arsenal news.
According to The Bell, an Arsenal-appointed broker has begun to test the waters with Leicester City in a round of back-channel talks about a possible deal to sign Maddison.
The feeling in the club camp is that Madison is not an untouchable or unsellable player, but rather a ‘window of hope’, if the price is right.
Arsenal have made their own reports regarding the player’s injury history and records and the suitability of signing him under these circumstances, but they still have a serious interest in Maddison, although its understood that the two clubs are far apart on a valuation at the moment.
It is understood that one of the reasons for the valuation gap between the two clubs is that Norwich City included a clause in the sale of Maddison to Leicester City that would entitle them to a percentage of the profits of any future sale.
Sources close to Norwich did not disclose the exact figure, but claim that the percentage due is between 10% and 15%.
Arsenal are open to negotiating with Leicester City and reaching a compromise regarding the price of the deal to suit all parties, but if Leicester insist on an astronomical amount, the club will turn to other options on its list.
As mentioned by AFC Bell in January, Martin Odegaard could be a welcome alternative if Plan A doesn’t work
Senior sources and very close to the negotiating table confirm that the decisive factor in the James Madison deal is not Arsenal’s ability to provide the value of the deal, but the essence of the matter is that the club wants to do more work in this window and will not overspend madly on one deal.
The deal isn’t dead just yet, but at the same time it is not close or decided. The club are working behind the scenes silently.