Transfer gossip: James Maddison a ‘top target’ for Liverpool as Man Utd bid £80m for Croatia star

Date published: Tuesday 13th December 2022 5:46 - Ian Watson

Rio Ferdinand on James Maddison

Liverpool will move for James Maddison having already secured Enzo Fernandez, while Chelsea have seen Man Utd bid for one of their main targets, with the Blues rebuffed over Rafael Leao…

All the noise in recent months around James Maddison has centred on his selection for the England squad. Now he’s back from Qatar having not kicked a ball for England at the World Cup, there is set to be a clamour of a different kind involving the Leicester playmaker.

Next summer, Maddison will enter the final year of his contract at the King Power and the big hitters are starting to form a queue. Newcastle were thought to be at the head of the line, but one report suggests Liverpool are jostling their way to the front.

According to Fichajes, Maddison has become a ‘top target’ for Liverpool, with Leicester set to accept a fee in the region of £60million for the 26-year-old.


Liverpool are desperate to strengthen their midfield and though it seems they have missed out on Konrad Laimer, with the RB Leipzig star seemingly bound for Bayern Munich, it is claimed they have Enzo Fernandez in the bag.

The Reds’ interest in the Benfica midfielder pre-dates the World Cup, where he has shone in Argentina’s engine room. Those performances looked set to spark a scramble for the 21-year-old but Argentinean outlet La Capital reckon Liverpool have already moved to secure Fernandez.

Apparently, the Merseysiders have struck a deal with Benfica that will see Fernandez move to Anfield in June.

Fernandez will come up against Josko Gvardiol in the World Cup semi-final later, with the Croatia centre-back also enhancing his prospects of a big move while in Qatar.

Chelsea have been sniffing around Gvardiol since the summer and their interest remains strong, perhaps ahead of a January offer for the 21-year-old.

But Gvardiol’s performances seem to have prompted Manchester United to take action, with Foot Mercato claiming that the Red Devils have offered RB Leipzig in the region of £80million to take the defender in January.


Chelsea might be distracted right now by their pursuit of Rafael Leao. Which isn’t going as well as Todd Boehly might have hoped.

With interest from the Blues, as well as Manchester City and Real Madrid, Leao is resisting AC Milan’s attempts to lure him into a contract renewal, with his current terms at the San Siro set to expire in 2024.

Sky Germany says Chelsea have been engaged in talks over Leao while taking in the World Cup in Qatar. But Milan have rejected an offer from the London club worth £60million. Indeed, the Rossoneri want double that amount for the 23-year-old and they are insisting on his £128million release clause being met.

Read more: Five players England and Southgate absolutely must build around to deliver Euro 2024 glory

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