James Maddison open to Arsenal transfer but Gunners must overcome hurdle blocking deal

James Maddison: Facts and stats of Arsenal-linked midfielder

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Leicester City midfielder James Maddison would be happy to join Arsenal this summer, but the Gunners will not be able to launch a move for his services unless a number of their existing stars can be sold, according to reports. Mikel Arteta is believed to be eyeing the addition of a quality playmaker before the transfer window slams shut, with Arsenal crying out for additional creativity in the middle of the park.

Emile Smith Rowe, who penned a new long-term deal with the club last month, remains Arteta’s only concrete option in the attacking midfield role ahead of the new campaign.

Joe Willock could still have a role to play after impressing for Newcastle United last season, but Arsenal are understood to be mulling over his immediate future with a return to St. James’ Park potentially on the cards.

The club have been linked with a permanent approach for Martin Odegaard, who shone for the Gunners during his previous loan spell, but the likelihood of a successful move is far from certain.

Meanwhile, Maddison is also said to be under serious consideration at the Emirates Stadium after establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents during his time with Leicester.

He remains under contract until the summer of 2024 but would be ‘open’ to joining Arsenal in the coming weeks, according to The Guardian.

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It is claimed that Arteta is a keen admirer of Maddison, who he believes can dramatically improve his side’s fortunes in the final third.

The Spaniard’s openness to a move is reportedly matched by the player himself, with the 24-year-old of the persuasion that joining Arsenal would aid his development.

However, the Gunners may also be forced to shelve their interest if they cannot raise enough money through player sales, having already splashed £73million on the signings of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Ben White this summer.

Even if Arteta and club director Edu manage to gain the necessary funds, a move for Maddison could be incredibly difficult to engineer.

Leicester are under no pressure to sanction the midfielder’s departure and will be unlikely to accept anything less than a premium fee for his services.

Reports have claimed that a figure in excess of £70m would be the minimum requirement for Maddison to make the switch to north London.

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers recently suggested that Arsenal could face an uphill battle in their efforts to sign the player by underlining his desire to retain the club’s most important assets.

“In conversations with the club, we don’t have to sell, that’s something that’s been made clear,” Rodgers told reporters when quizzed on any potential outgoings.

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“The players want to stay. It’s a really exciting time at the club. 

“There’s lots of gossip and speculation around, but I’m loving working with the guys here, they love being here, and we certainly have no need to sell. 

“So I would suspect we’re looking to keep our best players.”

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