Belfast Telegraph

James Maddison linked with Leicester move

The Foxes are leading the chase for the Norwich midfielder.

Leicester are in pole position to sign Norwich midfielder James Maddison.

The Foxes are leading the chase for the 21-year-old and pushing hard to complete a deal, Press Association Sport understands.

Norwich are likely to demand over £20million for Maddison, who scored 14 goals in the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Leicester are poised to sell Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City and landing highly-rated Maddison would be a coup for the Foxes.

Everton remain interested following Marco Silva’s appointment but Maddison is keen on a switch to the King Power Stadium, which would take him closer to his home town of Coventry.

The Sky Blues will be due a cut of the fee due to the sell-on clause in the transfer which took Maddison to Carrow Road in 2016.

The Canaries’ parachute payments have ended and Maddison is their most saleable asset as sporting director Stuart Webber continues to revamp the club after their failure to return to the Premier League.

Maddison is Norwich’s Player of the Year after a fine individual season despite the club’s inconsistent campaign, which saw them finish 14th.

He grabbed eight assists for Daniel Farke’s team having become a key player after spending the 2016-17 season on loan at Aberdeen.

Maddison also broke into the England Under-21 team last term and has made 53 appearances for the Canaries, scoring 16 times.

The deal is another sign that Leicester boss Claude Puel is being backed by the Foxes, despite lingering doubts over his position at the end of last season.

The Frenchman replaced Craig Shakespeare last October and guided the club away from the relegation zone but missed out on European football after a poor run saw them finish ninth.

Leicester won just five times in 21 Premier League games from December, although a 3-1 win over Arsenal and a spirited final-day 5-4 defeat at Tottenham aided Puel’s cause.

He is now likely to see an overhaul of the Foxes squad as the title-winning side of 2016 begins to be phased out, with Robert Huth already released.

Record £30million buy Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa and Nampalys Mendy, who were all loaned out last season, are also likely to be sold.

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