Belfast Telegraph

John Laverty: Why Maddison's new contract will make him MORE likely to leave Foxes

James Maddison
James Maddison
John Laverty

By John Laverty

Heard on the radio last week: "Leicester City's James Maddison is edging towards signing a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2024. It's bad news for Manchester United, who are said to be keen on the young England star."

It's arrant nonsense. Why do supposedly experienced sports journalists continue to spew out guff like this?

It's true that Maddison has been offered, and may well sign, a lucrative new long-term deal with Leicester, who are currently riding high in the Prem under "Carnlough man Brendan Rodgers".

But to blithely batter out on a keyboard that it will 'keep him' there is so wide of the mark it is both ludicrous and laughable. Indeed, a new contract means Maddison is MORE, not less, likely to join United in one of the next two transfer windows.

Leicester clearly don't want to lose such a promising youngster, but on his current salary - around £50,000 a week - they wouldn't be able to price him at an acceptable fee.

At present, United could offer around £30m-£40m for Maddison, adding - with justification - that if the Foxes thought he was worth more than that, they'd pay him accordingly.

So the new contract will be around £100k a week, thus ballooning the midfielder's potential transfer fee towards the £90m mark.

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And of course Leicester will insist they won't sell - but they said the same about Harry Maguire before trousering a world-record £80m for the defender last summer. From United.

Two BBC headlines from almost exactly six years ago...

December 20, 2013: "Luis Suarez signs new four-and-a-half-year deal to end speculation about his Liverpool future".

July 11, 2014: "Liverpool sell Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75m".

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