Journalist: Arsenal still keen to sign James Maddison as 'number one target'

Arsenal are still looking to conclude a deal to sign James Maddison from Leicester City this summer, says Peter O'Rourke

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Arsenal are still looking to conclude a deal to sign James Maddison from Leicester City this summer, according to journalist Peter O’Rourke.

The north London side have been credited with an interest in signing the 24-year-old England international in recent days as Mikel Arteta looks to further bolster his squad ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.

Maddison, who has one senior England cap to his name, scored eight goals and made five assists in 31 Premier League games for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side last term.

Arsenal have already been busy in the summer transfer window after concluding deals for Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White ahead of Arteta’s second full season in charge of the club.

According to reporter O’Rourke, Arsenal continue to hold a strong interest in Maddison and will pursue a deal before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Speaking on The Football Terrace Podcast last week, O’Rourke said of Arsenal’s interest in Maddison: “They’re still undeterred in this pursuit despite what Leicester have said to them.

“James Maddison is their number one target in this creative focal point that they want in the team.

“They’ve moved on from Martin Odegaard – it looks like he’s going to stay at Real Madrid and get minutes there.

“They’ll bring in Maddison if they possibly can. They know Maddison will have a high price-tag so they’ve tried to be creative like a lot of teams. They’ve offered players in part exchange for this one.

“So far, from what I’ve heard, the players Arsenal have offered to Leicester in this deal hasn’t raised the interest of anyone at Leicester. They’re not interested in any of the bit-parts that have been offered in this deal.

“The likes of [Reiss] Nelson, [Eddie] Nketiah and [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles have all been mentioned as possible makeweights in the deal plus money to try to convince them to sell Maddison but Leicester have said ‘no’ so far.

“The ball is back in Arsenal’s court. Will Arsenal be willing to offer other players as part of this deal? Maybe Joe Willock but I’m not sure who else Arsenal could offer to tempt Leicester into a deal.

“From what I’m hearing, Leicester would let James Maddison go if the offer was right.”

Arsenal, who finished in eighth place in the table and without a trophy last season, will kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Brentford on 13 August.

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