Reports: Arsenal in talks to make major surprise signing of £50m-rated midfielder

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A couple of weeks ago, we brought you the news emerging from the Daily Mail that Arsenal were exploring a player plus cash deal for Maddison. Today, widespread media in England have confirmed the rumours – James Maddison is a serious target for Arsenal this summer. 

According to transfermarkt, Maddison’s value is at £49.5million. The Guardian say Leicester will want in excess of £60million. Arsenal may be considering a player plus cash approach in order to reduce the amount of money involved in the deal. 

Maddison, who turns 25 in November, has been a hit in the Premier League since joining for £22.5million from Norwich. Now moving into the prime years of his career, James could still take the level of his game up. 

It will have frustrated Maddison to have missed out on the England squad this summer, but the reality is that the likes of Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish have so far proven to be ahead of him. 

You may be wondering why Maddison would leave Leicester, a club consistently ahead of Arsenal in recent years, to join the Gunners. If Arsenal do pull off this move, it will come as a surprise to much of the footballing world. 

A possible explanation is that there appears to potentially be some tensions between James Maddison and Brendan Rodgers. 

Maddison was left on the bench for many of Leicester’s final games in the 2020/21 campaign and was then left out of England’s Euro 2020 squad. Following that omission, Rodgers said: ‘The one thing you can control as a football player is your fitness. ‘There are things in the game you cannot control if you’re a player, you can’t control the tactics the manager chooses, what position you play in, but you can control your mentality and your fitness. 

Those quotes might worry Arsenal fans. Maddison won’t get any respite in terms of fitness at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, but perhaps he is ready for a new challenge and ready to knuckle down and take his career to the next stage. 

Whilst Arsenal have not been as successful in recent years, it’s hard to argue against the Gunners being a bigger club in stature than Leicester, and starring for the club may well help his chances of getting a place in Southgate’s World Cup squad in 2022.

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