Brendan Rodgers fears Leicester could lose another of their star men to Manchester United if they firm up their interest in James Maddison. The Foxes fought hard to retain the services of Harry Maguire but eventually had no choice but to let him leave, receiving a world-record fee for a defender of £80million.
With Maguire settling in well at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are reportedly eyeing another big-money raid on the King Power Stadium with midfielder Maddison on their radar.
The Times claim the 22-year-old is being watched closely by the United recruitment department and that they are ready to offer £60million come the end of the season.
Having spent £20million when signing Maddison from Norwich in the summer of 2018, the chance to treble their investment might persuade Leicester to return to the negotiating table with United.
However, having put up a fight to keep Maguire, rejecting offers for him in the 2018 summer transfer window, the club would be loathed to sell another of their English stars to a Premier League rival.
Leicester’s hand could be forced though, according to Rodgers, who believes that Maddison may be eager to move to Manchester United, such is the draw of the 20-time English champions. “Liverpool and Manchester United are two of the biggest clubs by far,” said Rodgers.
“So whenever a player gets an opportunity to go to a club like that, to experience that type of pressure, that expectation – and of course there’ll be a financial side to it as well, let’s be real – that as a package in a short career is maybe something that is too hard to turn down.”
Maddison enjoyed a debut season to remember for Leicester as he scored seven times and recorded seven assists, creating more chances than any other player in the Premier League last term.
He already has two assists to his name in the league this season, while he recently brought back into the England senior squad.
Maddison has previously admitted that he wants to test himself at the highest level and if Manchester United can secure a return to the Champions League this season, that might be enough to tempt him to make the leap.
However, with Leicester competing with United for European qualification this season, Maddison could be best off staying put if the Foxes can edge out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men for a top-six finish.
There was certainly little to separate the two teams on the pitch last weekend, a Marcus Rashford penalty providing the decisive moment in a 1-0 win for United.