Leicester City have reportedly turned down Arsenal’s player-plus-cash bid for star playmaker James Maddison.
As per Football Insider, the Gunners included Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as makeweights in the offer to land the 24-year-old, but to no avail.
Despite Leicester’s interest in Maitland-Niles over the January transfer window, the Foxes are only willing to negotiate their prized possession’s departure for a bid in excess of £70 million.
After getting rid of Mesut Ozil and subsequently failing to keep hold of Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard, Mikel Arteta is keen to add a creative midfielder to his side.
Arsenal have already splurged £71m to bring in Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White and are running short on funds.
The Gunners need to raise money from player sales before launching a new assault on Maddison.
Arsenal’s interest in the ex-Norwich City playmaker is genuine, although finding the way to convince Leicester to sanction the deal could be rather tricky.
Maddison would be a massive coup for Arteta, who can currently count only on inexperienced Emile Smith Rowe to accept the playmaking limelight at the Emirates Stadium.
Nelson, who was also a part of Arsenal’s part-exchange package, will leave north London one way or another.
The 21-year-old’s contract is due to expire in less than a year and the Gunners are looking to cash in on him now that Leicester rejected their bid.
With the transfer window entering the final phase, Arsenal may need to step up their interest in Maddison, as it is unlikely the Foxes will sell their star midfielder without having enough time to replace him.