Arsenal path to Maddison clears after Leicester ‘line up’ shock Man Utd raid
Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of James Maddison after Leicester relented by lining up a surprise Man Utd raid, per a report.
The Gunners have been well documented to be on the hunt for a new addition in the creative department. Martin Odegaard impressed in his short loan spell from Real Madrid last year, and the club still harbour ambitions of bringing him back to North London once more.
But as all clubs should, Arsenal have put irons in the fire regarding alternative targets.
Mikel Arteta’s side have identified Leicester playmaker Maddison as a more than viable alternative. Indeed, a report from the Guardian in early August detailed a cash-plus-player bid that Leicester duly rejected.
For his part, Maddison is understood to be open to the move despite the Foxes finishing above Arsenal in successive seasons.
A £60m valuation is a significant stumbling block after the Gunners already splashed out over £72m on Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.
Now, Football London reaffirm Arsenal remain ‘someway apart from Leicester’s valuation’. However, they outline a new ray of hope fostered by Leicester’s latest actions.
The outlet report Brendan Rodgers’ side have lined up Man Utd winger Jesse Lingard as Maddison’s potential replacement.
Lingard produced the form of his career while on loan with West Ham last season. The Hammers have tried to bring the 28-year-old back on board and multiple reports have namechecked Lingard as a player who could be sacrificed this summer to generate around £25m.
Their efforts have not yielded a breakthrough, however, and Leicester could pounce on their inability to forge a deal.
While it’s acknowledged Arsenal are not close to signing Maddison, the mere fact Leicester have begun to identify replacements does at least offer a new slither of hope a Maddison sale could ultimately be sanctioned.
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Lukaku deal could spark Man Utd transfer
Meanwhile, a Chelsea deal to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge has been tipped to spark a £50m Man Utd transfer into action, per a report.
Lukaku’s exit from Inter Milan appears all-but certain. And when the Belgian leaves, Inter will be on the hunt for a suitable replacement.
Trusted source Fabrizio Romano revealed Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and ex-Man City striker Edin Dzeko are on their radar. But according to the Sun, Inter will pursue a move for Man Utd forward Anthony Martial.
They outline Inter’s interest in the forward before declaring Man Utd would be open to selling if they can ‘recoup close to the £50million they forked out six years ago.’
Inter’s current financial situation means splashing that kind of cash this summer is unlikely. Any money generated from sales this window will first go towards balancing the club’s books. As such, Inter will reportedly pursue a loan deal with a ‘commitment to buy’ in 12 months’ time.
READ MORE: Man Utd refusal prompts emergence of new target amid transfer U-Turn
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