What if Arsenal don’t sign James Maddison this summer? Here Ace Football presents three alternatives that may suit the Gunners.
A new attacking midfielder has been a must for Arsenal ever since Mesut Ozil’s demise. Martin Odegaard came in as a temporary solution last season, but no permanent option has arrived since.
Mikel Arteta’s search for a top-tier playmaker has led him to James Maddison. The 24-year-old has impressed in the Premier League for the last three seasons and is open to an Arsenal move. Leicester City, however, are reluctant to play ball.
According to Football London, Arsenal have made little progress in transfer talks. Leicester want over £60 million for Maddison and won’t accept anything less. So if this continues this way, what then?
Here on Ace Football, we name three possible Maddison alternatives Arsenal could pursue before the transfer window shuts on August 31.
It’s no secret Odegaard is the man Arteta really wants. The 22-year-old had a decent six-month loan spell at the Emirates last season, prompting talk of a second loan deal and a permanent transfer.
But Zinedine Zidane’s resignation at Real Madrid foiled Arteta’s plans. Odegaard is currently back at his parent club to see if he has a future under new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
As things stand, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Odegaard and plan to make an offer if things at Real Madrid don’t work out.
Arteta knows Bernardo well from his two-and-a-half-year spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City. The pair enjoyed a good relationship at the Etihad Stadium.
Things have changed since Arteta left in December 2019, though. Bernardo is no longer a guaranteed starter at City. As Jack Grealish has arrived in a £100 million deal from Aston Villa, competition will only grow more intense. Therefore, Guardiola has confirmed he wants to leave.
Arsenal have since been tipped to make a move for Bernardo. The Portuguese star isn’t the first name on everyone’s list, but his versatility and eye for creating goals would be a welcome asset.
The Lyon playmaker has been on Arsenal’s radar for like an eternity now. Arteta tried to sign bring him over to the Emirates Stadium last summer, but nothing materialized in the end.
But with the Maddison saga going almost nowhere, the Gunners boss could make another attempt. Aouar does fit the bill quite nicely as an attacking midfielder after all. He is still only 23 and already has a lot of experience under his belt, making him a suitable long-term option.
The latest reports suggest Aouar could be available for around £30 million – exactly half of what Leicester are asking for Maddison.