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James Maddison is Arsenal’s No.1 target

Arsenal insider ‘The AFC Bell’ has offered a lengthy update on the clubs pursuit of James Maddison, offering positive news on a potential transfer. The trusted Twitter account has offered important updates on the clubs transfer over the last year, including breaking news on the transfer of Thomas Partey last summer.

Posting today, The Bell shared a series of tweets on the status of Arsenals dealings with Leicester City for Maddison:

It is understood that Arsenal’s appointed mediator first made enquiries with his Leicester City counterparts on whether an offer in the region of £50m would bring Leicester to the negotiating table. The response was a ‘no’ with the minimum Leicester City would  listen to and consider is a bid of £60m.

On the sidelines of the same talks, the mediator in charge of the negotiations asked about the feasibility of Arsenal offering a £60m package with a combination of a player and a sum of money to bring Leicester City to the negotiating table, but those involved in Leicester City do not see this option as realistic or tangible.

Leicester City stakeholders believe that one or two players may appeal to them and fulfill their needs in this window, but it is unlikely that Arsenal would accept their inclusion in such an exchange deal, and it is also inevitable that the two clubs’ assessment of the value of the package will vary, according to their evaluation of the proposed players.

Leicester City did not close the door on the mediator representing Arsenal in this round of talks, and did not give indications that there was a special deadline for this deal – for example before the start of the new season – which gave the mediator a positive impression that Leicester are open to negotiations if £60m cash is offered.

The final word in this deal is not to provide the necessary funds to conclude the deal, but rather to avoid spending madly on one player and neglecting any gaps or shortages in one of the positions in the squad.

English press reports that surfaced recently about Arsenal’s intention to keep Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin and offer them renewal offers to some extent indicate that Arsenal want to provide sufficient cover in these two areas, allowing the club to shift its focus and resources on strengthening the goalkeeper’s position and adding a creative player.

Sources close to Hector Bellerin say that the player has not yet received an official renewal offer, and the camp is still evaluating all options and listening to those interested in the player’s services. “There is still a lot of time left in the summer window” the same source added.

In the ideal circumstances, Arsenal would like to resolve the fate of the right-back position before it ‘descends with its weight’ in the negotiating arena with Leicester City, whether by keeping Bellerin and having enough cover in the center, or by leaving and compensating him internally or externally with a new deal to fill the gap of his exit if he leaves. The player’s camp is not in a hurry on the other side.

The developments that took place last night, with the imminent departure of Joe Willock on a permanent transfer deal to Newcastle for £25m, are positive in the club’s efforts to chase its No.1 goal, James Madison. Theoretically, the club may use this amount to raise its verbal proposal submitted by the mediator and crystallize it into a formal written proposal.

The feeling we got after speaking with people close to the conversations surrounding James Maddison is that Arsenal are willing to compromise with Leicester City over the deal.

The mediator’s messages informing Arsenal of Leicester’s intention to negotiate at the £60m barrier did not alienate or discourage the club, but rather the opposite.

Arsenal are making slow strides behind the scenes in the James Maddison deal, but it is important and on the right track. The deal is still not close to happening and there is no guarantee on it due to the absence of negotiations and official offers, but the club is expected to intensify its efforts in the remainder of the time in this window.

He understands that the preparatory work for James Madison’s deal with the player’s camp preceded the signing of Martin Odegaard for months, and therefore he is the No.1 option for the club. As we mentioned in January, Odegaard may provide a viable alternative if Objective No. 1 cannot be signed.

He understands that talks between Arsenal and Martin Odegaard’s camp are currently inactive, and the lines of communication have been cold between the two parties for a while, but that may change if the club reaches a dead end in the James Madison deal.‎ The indications do not indicate that the Madison deal is currently impossible, especially after the initial talks.

The next few weeks could bring a lot, with Arsenal sources repeating: “Just judge our work in the closed transfer window.” What is certain is that the club is still working on the James Madison deal, and the little news that appears to the public does not necessarily mean that there is no real work in this deal.