Arsenal step up chase for £50m Maddison and willing to offer two players in swap
Arsenal are willing to explore a player-plus-cash deal in order to sign James Maddison from Leicester City this summer.
The Gunners were revealed by trusted transfer sources last week to be in pursuit of the English playmaker after failing to bring creative midfielder Martin Odegaard back to the Emirates from Real Madrid.
But Leicester are unlikely to accept Arsenal’s planned offer of £50million for an integral player in Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Now the Daily Mail reports that Arsenal could offer two fringe players in order to sweeten the deal and tempt the Foxes into accepting a smaller sum for Maddison.
Mikel Arteta is reportedly willing to part ways with Hale End academy graduates Ainsley-Maitland Niles, 23, and Reiss Nelson, 21, to get the deal done.
Maitland-Niles has been in and out of the team since Arteta took over in December 2019, demonstrating promise but never quite being trusted enough to become a regular.
It is believed that Arteta sees the player as a wing-back while Maitland-Niles wants to ply his trade in central-midfield, hence why he moved on loan to West Bromwich Albion in January.
Meanwhile, Rodgers is especially keen to add a wide attacker this transfer window which Nelson fits the mould of.
The winger has only made 22 appearances since the Arsenal manager took charge and is desperate to play first-team football with his career having halted in the last few seasons.
Nelson only has a year left on his contract which could see the Gunners use him as a bargaining chip before he walks away for free, as the player himself hopes to remain in England.
Do you think Leicester would accept £50million plus one of Arsenal's youngsters for Maddison? Let us know in the comments section.
Maddison meanwhile signed a four-year deal with Leicester only last summer which means the Foxes are in no rush to sell if Arsenal do not make a tempting enough offer.
The player missed out on Euro 2020 after an injury-ridden campaign and off-field antics resulted in him missing crucial matches.
Maddison was also left out of Rodgers’ starting line-up in the FA Cup final victory against Chelsea in May, though he eventually came on to win his first piece of professional silverware.
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