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James Maddison on Manchester United Rumours: 'I Just Take It All in My Stride'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12:  James Maddison of Leicester City applauds the crowd during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison has said he's not allowing himself to become distracted by speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.

Maddison only joined the Foxes a year ago and enjoyed a fine debut season at the King Power Stadium. Unsurprisingly, a number of big clubs have been linked with a move for the playmaker, including the Red Devils.

The 22-year-old is part of the England squad for the upcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championships, and ahead of the competition he said he's not thinking about any rumours, per Dominic King of the Daily Mail.

"I just take it all in my stride—that's all I have ever done," he said. "When I was playing as a 17-year-old at Coventry, I had speculation. Speculation is speculation. I just love playing football, and the rest will take care of itself. My focus is solely on this: France. A massive game. We need to ready."

Here's more of what Maddison has had to say about the links:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

"It is compliment that people are writing that, but I need to ignore it" James Maddison is not fazed by transfer talk linking him to the biggest clubs in the country. Full interview: https://t.co/nhooYQM9x9 https://t.co/p3K9j4Fi5g

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said in April that he expects Maddison to remain where he is:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

Will @LCFC keep hold of their free-kick specialist? ✨ "He's been a joy to work with since I've come and there are still a lot of improvements he will make." Brendan Rodgers says 'top talents' like James Maddison always attract attention from clubs: https://t.co/dbcHeD8AJ0 https://t.co/48BEuLrtME

England begin their campaign at the tournament in Italy with a showdown with France on Tuesday. They are in Group C along with Croatia and Romania.

According to Jack Pitt-Brooke of the Independent, United have moved into "pole position" to sign Maddison in a potential £60 million deal. It's noted that in addition to the Old Trafford club, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have all been keeping an eye on his development.

Maddison would have only enhanced his reputation as one of English football's brightest prospects with his performances for Leicester last season, as he adapted well to life in the Premier League.

Per Scouted Football, the England youth international has always been a productive player in the final third:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

James Maddison in League One for Coventry City: • 35 games • 5 goals • 4 assists James Maddison in the Premier League for Leicester City: • 36 games • 7 goals • 7 assists Growth. https://t.co/HH6SaNHfyz

Squawka Football noted how creative Maddison was in the Premier League last term and how dangerous he can be from dead-ball situations:

Squawka Football @Squawka

James Maddison created the most chances (100) and scored more direct free-kicks (3) than any other player during the 2018-19 Premier League season. Does those sort of stats remind you of anyone? 🎯 https://t.co/f5YnhtKMKX

After a brilliant domestic season, Maddison will be seeking to make an impression on the international stage as part of a talented crop of England players. Competition for midfield places will be fierce, though, with Phil Foden and Mason Mount vying for similar positions.

If Maddison can shine for Aidy Boothroyd's team, the interest in him is only going to intensify.

However, the midfielder doesn't appear to be flustered by the rumours, and after just one season at the King Power, it'd be a shock if the Foxes were open to any sale. Rodgers has an exciting crop of young players to work with at Leicester, and you sense he'll want Maddison at the crux of the team he's building.

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