James Maddison wants Manchester United transfer
Man United have finalised their transfer shortlist of attacking targets and James Maddison wants to move to Old Trafford.by Samuel Luckhurst, http://www.facebook.com/samuelluckhurstjournalist/
Leicester City playmaker James Maddison wants to join Manchester United as the club prepares to continue its squad rebuild.
Maddison, 23, has been earmarked by United as their prime playmaker target for the summer and sources close to Maddison have told the MEN he 'would have been at United years ago' if it was up to him.
The MEN previously reported Maddison has been considering a new contract with Leicester and sources say there are still 'many factors at play' over a possible summer move. Maddison is contracted to Leicester until 2023.
United finalised their shortlist of summer targets last month, with Maddison and Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish under consideration to occupy the playmaker role. The signing of attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes has not impacted United's interest in Maddison or Grealish.
The United hierarchy have budgeted for between three and five signings across the two transfer windows this year and are expected to make a minimum of three additions in the summer. Despite speculation last month, United never considered a mid-season move for Maddison.
Maddison joined Leicester from Norwich City for £24million in 2018 and has already scored nine times this season. Leicester are third in the Premier League, 14 points clear of United, and could easily command a larger fee for Maddison than the £80m they obtained for Harry Maguire in August.
Leicester received £60m from City for Riyad Mahrez in 2018, Danny Drinkwater joined Chelsea for £35m in 2017 and N'Golo Kante moved to Stamford Bridge for £30m in 2016.
The MEN previously reported United are optimistic of signing Maddison and club sources have said 23 is the perfect age to recruit a player. Maddison turned 23 in November and United are further emboldened by the fact Maddison is close with former club colleague Maguire.
Maddison attained his first England cap in November and Old Trafford sources believe United's England contingent of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard helped sway Maguire amid competition from Manchester City last summer.
England coach Gareth Southgate is due to name his squad for the March friendlies with Italy and Denmark in just over a month. Rashford is all but out due to his recovery from a double stress fracture to the back and Lingard's form has hardly picked up since he was dropped in October.
United captain Maguire's inclusion is a certainty - provided he is fit - and he could be surrounded by a plethora of potential future teammates. United have tried to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho since he was a 17-year-old at Manchester City and Grealish is pushing for his first senior call-up.
Maddison fits the criteria of United's preference for young British signings after they bought Englishmen Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as well as Wales international Daniel James, last summer.
High-ranking figures at United have spoken about the need for humble and respectful characters off the pitch who become arrogant when they pull on the club shirt.