Leicester are unlikely to accept the swap deal for James Maddison proposed by Arsenal football.london understands.
football.london exclusively revealed the Gunners’ intentions to try and secure a cash plus player deal for the England international with Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson understood to be the players offered.
It had been hoped that this might reduce the price the Foxes are likely to accept for the midfielder which is thought to be close to £70million.
However, the move would only have worked if Arsenal had been willing to give up a player in a position that Brendan Rodgers’ side are looking to recruit in.
Leicester are in the market for a centre back this summer, but having recently brought in Ben White from Brighton and loaned out William Saliba and Dinos Mavropanos, the Gunners were not in a position to offer one.
The Foxes had previously shown interest in Mohamed Elneny and enquired about Maitland-Niles as recently as January, but having already signed Boubakary Soumare from Lille this summer to go alongside the existing options of Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi and Denis Praet central midfield is no longer thought to be an area they are looking in.
The same can be said of the centre forward position where the FA Cup champions have already acquired Patson Daka this window, making a deal involving Nketiah unworkable.
There was a notion that Willock could come in to the King Power as a direct replacement for Maddison if he were to go the other way. However, Rodgers is thought to want someone more stylistically similar to his current number 10.
Perhaps the one player that might have worked is Reiss Nelson given that Leicester are in the market for a right winger this summer.
However, it is thought the Foxes want a left-footed player, with the right-footed Harvey Barnes among the first names on the team sheet when fit.
This means that Arsenal are likely to have to offer Leicester the full £70 million that is understood will be required to get Maddison if they want to bring him to the Emirates.
They have shown themselves to be shrewd operators in the transfer market in recent years having secured sizeable transfer fees for players such as Harry Maguire and Riyad Mahrez to name but a few, and are unlikely to be forced into selling Maddison at a lower price.
It should be said though that that fee is far from a fixed entity, and it has the potential to go up as the window goes on given the reduced amount of time that it would offer the Foxes to find a replacement for their number 10.
This may force Arsenal to look elsewhere if they cannot afford to pay for the transfer.
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The Gunners would also like to sign a goalkeeper to play back up to Bernd Leno this summer, and remain in the market for a centre forward and a right back if they can move players on first.
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