James Maddison would reject Manchester United if playing time was not a guarantee

Manchester United’s interest in Leicester City midfielder James Maddison will all boil down to nothing if they cannot guarantee the player time on the pitch next season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been linked with a £60 million move for Maddison this summer for a number of weeks now. The player will reject United if his playing time is not guaranteed.

United are not the only team interested in Maddison though with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool also said to be interested – however, the same stance could come from the player, who obviously sees the importance in playing the game he loves in order to develop into the player he has been tipped to become.

The 22-year-old playmaker has risen to the occasion at Leicester since making the move from Norwich City last summer. However, the player came through the youth ranks at Coventry City before leaving for Norwich, also spending time on loan at his former club and at Aberdeen. Maddison has come a long way so quickly.

Maddison is a player that United and Solskjaer should be looking to sign this summer – homegrown, talented and looking to progress his career and win things for his club. The type of hunger is not something that you could say is prevalent at United, especially when you look at the performances late last season. Speaking about playing time, Maddison said:

“I have never been happy to sit on the bench and never will be. I have always wanted to play games, whether that was in League One or the Premier League.

“When I moved to Norwich I didn’t get on the bench in the first game, then I was only a substitute.

“So I went to see the manager Alex Neil and said, ‘I can’t sit on the bench, I love playing football’. So I went on loan to Aberdeen.

“I was 18 at the time and people asked, ‘Why are you going to Aberdeen?’ Well, it was to play games.

“I felt it was the best thing for me. I could have gone back to League One but I felt like I had already done that with Coventry.

“I played 40-odd games there so I went and took a challenge with Aberdeen.”

This could well be a summer-long saga for Maddison as Leicester City are under absolutely no pressure to sell the player. United are also interested in signing Harry Maguire this summer and losing two key players in the same summer is not something any club will want to do. However, Leicester would be rewarded and would be able to replace the pair, if they both left this summer.

In his relatively short career, Maddison has played just 146 professional matches, scoring 31 goals. He has played in League One (Coventry), the Championship (Norwich) and the Scottish Premier League (Aberdeen) and has so far played just one season in the Premier League, consisting of 31 appearances, scoring seven goals. The future for Maddison is good though.

It is understandable that he wants to be guaranteed playing time, as, at this present time, United’s midfield is stocked with the likes of Paul Pogba, who has stated he might seek a new challenge, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira and Fred. Marouane Fellaini left the club in January and Ander Herrera left as a free agent this summer.

If Pogba and Pereira leave the club this summer, as the Belgium-born Brazilian is linked with Leicester as part of a deal which could bring Harry Maguire to the Theatre of Dreams, then United will need midfielders and could then guarantee players like Maddison time on the pitch next season. The added value of United being in the UEFA Europa League could be a selling point too, as Leicester did not qualify for any European competition.

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