The AFCBell have just brought a lot of clarity to the situation surrounding James Maddison.
It is no secret now that Maddison is Arsenal’s top priority for a creative midfielder this summer. However, other than our interest there have been few developments in recent weeks.
However, now AFCBell have confirmed that a senior official at Arsenal has opened talks to test the heart of Leicester City around Maddison.
The feeling at Arsenal is that the player is not untouchable and that there is a deal to be done if the price can be right for both teams.
However, the Bell have also confirmed that the two teams are quite far apart in terms of a valuation. One of the reasons for this is that Norwich are thought to have a next-sale clause of around 10-15%, meaning that Leicester will want to increase the price to account for profits they will lose to Norwich.
Arsenal are willing to negotiate and try and reach a compromise, but if Leicester insist on a huge amount, presumably anything north of £70 million, then they will be happy to pursue other targets. The Bell, fortunately, confirmed that we have other business planned other than a new creative midfielder (perhaps a striker and a right back) and we will not jeopardise those other plans by blowing most of the remaining budget on Maddison.
In fact, the Bell seemed to suggest that the issue is not the money to pay for Maddison. Seemingly, Arsenal would have the money to pay whatever Leicester ask, but would choose not to do so if it would hinder other business.
At this point, the Bell confirmed the possibility of signing Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid as a potential alternative to Maddison.
Overall, I would say this is a good update on Maddison. We always knew it would be a tough deal to finalise, but at least the situation is a lot clearer now. Plus, it confirms that we are still very busy in the market and that whether we sign Maddison, Odegaard or even another target, the business will not end there for Arsenal this summer.
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