Chelsea have been tipped to beat Tottenham and Newcastle in landing James Maddison this summer, should they join the transfer race. The Leicester City playmaker has been heavily linked with a move away from the King Power stadium this window, with the Foxes in need of exits before they can make signings of their own.
The 25-year-old has two years remaining on his contract at the club, opening up a possible switch as his future beyond then is uncertain. Maddison was a hugely influential player for Leicester in a struggling campaign last time out.
The midfielder managed 18 goals and 12 assists in all competitions last season, his best return since making the step up to the Premier League in 2018. While he had clearly impressed, his output still wasn’t enough to earn a place in Gareth Southgate’s summer England squad, still looking to add to his solitary cap back in 2019.
A move away could help those ambitions of being with the Three Lions more regularly, which is only amplified by the fact that the Foxes need to sell to be able to sign this summer. However, amid reports of a £40million bid from Newcastle, manager Brendan Rodgers was bullish in his response to the interest.
“You see his [Maddison] performance, you see how happy he is and he’s not a player we want to sell,” Rodgers said after a 1-0 victory against Sevilla in pre-season. “It’s not for me to put valuations on the players, it’s not my side, but that [£40million bid] might just cover three-quarters of his left leg, that price. He’s a top player.”
“It depends how quickly they [Newcastle] try to transform the club and how quickly they get forward.”At the moment, Leicester and Newcastle, you would say Leicester are arguably better. But Newcastle will quickly overtake them. I know he’s earning a lot of money at Leicester, but I would be tempted to the project.
“If someone like Chelsea were to come in, then I would rather go to a ready-made team. Is he good enough? Yes. He has all the qualities to play Champions League football and international football.”
With the Blues looking elsewhere when it comes to areas to strengthen, it remains to be seen whether they would join the race for Maddison. However, it would be a statement of intent if they were to beat their Premier League rivals to landing the playmaker.