James Maddison’s time at Leicester looks to be coming to an end.
The 26-year-old playmaker appears set for a switch this summer, with the Foxes reportedly ready to sell regardless of whether or not they are relegated.
With funds limited at the King Power Stadium, club chiefs are ready to cash in on their star man as he approaches the final year of his contract.
Ahead of Leicester’s crucial clash with Fulham this afternoon, we consider what the future has in store for Maddison.
Despite the Foxes enduring a difficult campaign, Maddison has still made a significant impact.
He has registered nine league goals and a team-high eight assists this term, seven of which have come from open play.
Leicester’s No10 has also demonstrated his ability to disrupt defences with the ball at his feet, completing a commendable 34 of his 63 attempted take-ons.
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Just like Jack
Leicester boss Dean Smith sees similarities between Maddison and Jack Grealish — who helped Aston Villa to Premier League survival, before earning a move to Manchester City.
He said: “I think they are different types of players but similar characters, in all honesty. Both know that they’ve got the ability and both want to push themselves to become the best.
“I think, when you’ve got players that have that personality and character, they push you as coaches and you want to go and help them become better players. James [Maddison] seems to have that as well.
“He’s always looking to see what he can do better. He’s really engaging in the meetings we have and tactical meetings, and very vocal as well. I can see that similarity of wanting to push himself.
“He wants to talk tactics with you, and football. He’s a football nut, a bit like Jack [Grealish] was as well.”
With teams preparing to pounce for the Foxes’ talisman, Newcastle reportedly lead the race as things stand.
Eddie Howe has his side in contention for continental football next term, when he will need additional creative options in his midfield.
The Magpies often rely on their wide players to conjure opportunities but Maddison could provide a threat centrally having created an impressive 62 chances this season.
That would help relieve the pressure on right-back Kieran Trippier as the Tynesiders’ current creator-in-chief.
Maddison’s former Leicester team-mate Kasper Schmeichel believes that Champions League football should be a priority for the England international next season.
Speaking last week, Schmeichel said: “He [Maddison] can go wherever he wants really.
“I would love him to stay at Leicester but if he is to move on at some point it’s about choosing the right place.
“I think he has the ability to play at the highest level because the personality he is, when he knows everyone is watching, that’s when he comes alive.
“When you’re playing in the top teams, playing in the Champions League, when everyone’s watching, these are the games when he makes a difference.”
Marco Silva has taken Fulham to a new level this season.
After winning the Championship last term, the Cottagers have already comfortably secured safety and are on target for a top-half finish.
In the reverse fixture, the Foxes lost 1-0, with Maddison absent through injury.
Leicester supporters will be hoping that his presence will make the difference this afternoon and that he can have a survival-securing impact in the weeks ahead before a summer departure.