Southampton in £22m chase for Norwich's Maddison

Southampton in £22m chase for Norwich's Maddison

James Maddison, named in last season's Sky Bet Championship Team of the Year, has been struggling with a knee ligament injury since the second division's last day.

Ewan Kingsbury

Reports from several English sources have stated that both Southampton and Leicester have had bids - thought to be around the £22m mark - accepted for Norwich City star James Maddison

It's suggested that both Premier League clubs have submitted an offer for the 21-year-old, and with Norwich's top-flight parachute payments stopping this year, the Norfolk club are listening to offers.

Norwich, who finished 14th in the Championship last term, have already sold Josh Murphy and Marley Watkins following the end of the season - as well as releasing club icon Wes Hoolahan

What would Maddison bring to St. Mary's?

Maddison, whose sparkling displays last season saw him named Norwich's Player of the Season, would improve almost any side outside the Premier League's 'Big Six'.

Maddison possesses many of the attributes which are required for the 'Number 10' role. He has an excellent passing range, making the most key passes (124) in the Championship last season on his way to collecting eight assists. A problem for Southampton last season was the lack of final product at the end of attacking moves and signing Maddison would definitely address this 'killer ball' problem. 

Set-piece delivery is another of Maddison's strengths, with six of his eight assists coming from dead-ball situations. The ex-Coventry man also proved a reliable penalty taker last season, scoring all of his four spot-kicks. This would plug the gap left by club legend Rickie Lambert, who never missed one of his 34 penalties at the club. 

Southampton lack a real creative presence at the moment, with James Ward-Prowse and Dusan Tadic blowing hot and cold, Sofiane Boufal looking likely to return to France, and Nathan Redmond trying to force his way back into the starting eleven. Maddison would certainly supply last season's faltering strike force with plenty of chances, and if Manolo Gabbiadini can recapture the form he showed upon signing for the club, a very profitable partnership could be formed. 


Would Leicester be a more attractive option?

Although the Foxes are unlikely to able to offer Maddison a much better wage than Southampton, the question must be posed; would the player prefer a move to the King Power?

Maddison is a Coventry City youth product, so a return to his 'home' in the Midlands could be on the youngster's mind when it comes to picking a potential new club.  

Leicester could also be seen as a more attractive and ambitious prospect, with the dust only just settling from their shocking Premier League title win in 2016. This has led to many more big names signing for the Midlands club, who have wrapped up deals for Porto's Ricardo Pereira and West Brom's Jonny Evans already this summer.

This transfer saga is not over yet by any stretch of the imagination, and it could yet rumble on as West Ham and Everton, both with new managers, wait in the wings ready to pounce.