Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly preparing to approach Leicester City with an opening bid of £40m for playmaker James Maddison.
The 26-year-old is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract at the King Power Stadium and will likely be sold following the Foxes’ relegation to the Championship.
Tottenham and Newcastle United have long been considered the frontrunners for Maddison’s signature, and the North London giants are now said to be at the head of the queue.nge Postecoglou is keen to add more creativity to his squad ahead of his first season in charge, and Maddison has been identified as a leading target of the Australian’s.
According to The Telegraph, Tottenham are now lining up their first offer for the England international and are willing to offer an upfront fee of £40m excluding add-ons.
James Maddison in action for Leicester City on August 20, 2022
However, Leicester are understood to be driving a hard bargain and want as much as £60m to sanction a sale, in spite of the fact that Maddison could depart for nothing in 2024.
Tottenham are hopeful that they can satisfy Leicester’s economic demands through performance-related bonuses, and the Lilywhites’ opening proposal is now said to be “imminent”.
Tottenham have accelerated their pursuit of Maddison in the wake of Newcastle cooling their interest, as the Magpies close in on a deal to sign AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali.
Despite their demotion from the Premier League, Leicester will make a healthy profit on the £21.4m they forked out to sign Maddison five years ago, and the playmaker has justified his price tag at the King Power.
Maddison has contributed 55 goals and 41 assists from 203 matches in a Leicester jersey since arriving in 2018, winning the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2021.
Leicester City’s James Maddison celebrates scoring their fourth goal on July 20, 2022
The 26-year-old produced 10 goals and nine assists from 30 Premier League matches in the 2022-23 season and was called up to the most recent England squad, playing 70 minutes of their 4-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Malta on June 16.
Leicester have already seen Youri Tielemans depart the club on a free transfer for Aston Villa, and Harvey Barnes – who notched 13 top-flight goals last term – could soon follow suit alongside Maddison.
Tottenham are also believed to hold an interest in Barnes – as do Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham United – but the report adds that nothing is advanced regarding the winger’s possible exit.
The Lilywhites have already made their first permanent signing of the Postecoglou era in the shape of Dejan Kulusevski, who has returned following a productive loan spell from Juventus.
Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario is on the verge of joining Tottenham after reportedly undergoing his medical on Monday, while a new centre-back or two is also on Postecoglou’s agenda.
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