Arsenal exploring ambitious offer for Leicester star James Maddison

Arsenal are prepared to include a player in part-exchange as they explore the possibility of signing Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison.

The Gunners have already captured Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga ahead of the new season, as well as Portuguese full-back Nuno Tavares, and are also close to landing England international Ben White from Brighton in a £50m deal.

James MaddisonJames Maddison

Arsenal are keen to bring in more players this summer and Maddison fits the bill / Robin Jones/Getty Images

But midfield in particular has been a key area identified by the Arsenal hierarchy in the major recruitment drive and 90min revealed in June that in addition to a centre-back, full-back and goalkeeper, the club is targeting two new midfielders, which is now Sambi Lokonga and one other.

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Maddison has long been on the list of options and the Daily Mail writes that Arsenal are now stepping up that interest by exploring ways to get a potential deal done.

It is said that £50m would not be enough to tempt Leicester to sell Maddison, leading the Gunners to consider offering a player to sweeten the deal. Winger Reiss Nelson or midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles are those they would be willing to let go in the hope of tempting Leicester.

Maddison has a long-term contract with the Foxes until 2024 that he signed less than a year ago and is reported to have been the subject of a rejected £70m offer from an un-named Premier League club last summer. But it is said that Arsenal believe Leicester will negotiate.

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However, the Gunners are not solely targeting Maddison in the hunt for new midfielders. 90min recently confirmed that they have asked to be of any developments regarding the future of Lille midfielder Renato Sanches, who has been rejuvenated at the club since 2019.

Using intermediaries to contact the French champions, Arsenal have enquired over availability and potential price tag. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Lille cash in to profit on their €25m investment if there is a suitable offer and Sanches is ready to prove himself in the Premier League following the disappointment of his poor loan spell at Swansea in 2017/18.

Renato SanchesRenato Sanches

Lille’s Renato Sanches is another midfielder on Arsenal’s radar / John Berry/Getty Images

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Arsenal are also keeping a watchful eye on Sporting CP and Portugal attacking midfielder Pedro Goncalves, who has effectively replaced Bruno Fernandes in Lisbon.

The club’s primary criteria for new signings this summer is that targets should be younger than 25, with the potential to both improve on the pitch and increase in value off it.

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