Arsenal are holding back-channel talks with Leicester City over a deal for James Maddison, with the Gunners willing to reach a reasonable compromise on a fee.
TheAFCBell report that an Arsenal-appointed broker has started to hold back-channel talks with Leicester City over a possible deal for James Maddison. Leicester don’t consider Maddison unsellable, but they’ll only let him go if the price is right.
Part of the problem is that Norwich City are due to profit from Maddison’s sale, with the suggestion they’re owed 10-15% of the fee. So, with that in mind, Leicester are likely to hold out for more than they might without such a clause.
Arsenal are open to reaching a compromise with Leicester, but will turn to other options if Leicester insist on an ‘astronomical amount’. Arsenal are unwilling to overspend on one player when they have other business still to do.
This is at least a slightly more optimistic assessment of the situation than we recently heard from the likes David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano. They both suggested a deal would be very unlikely given it would be a huge stretch of the club’s finances.
TheAFCBell’s report doesn’t exactly contradict that. There’s still clearly an awareness that Leicester may simply ask for the kind of fee Arsenal won’t pay, and that would be that. The most we can say is that at least we’re not at that stage yet.
The other piece of the puzzle to consider is Leicester’s interest in Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Whether they’d consider a swap-deal or signing Maitland-Niles for cash, either option would help Arsenal’s pursuit of Maddison and might make the deal more realistic.