Tottenham assistant Stellini makes James Maddison transfer confession

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Tottenham’s assistant coach Cristian Stellini has confirmed the club are admirers of James Maddison ahead of Spurs’ Premier League trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester. The England international was back amongst the goals last weekend in the 4-2 win at Aston Villa after finally returning to the Foxes fold following a continuous battle with injury problems following the World Cup in Qatar.

Spurs will have to keep Maddison at bay if they’re to have anything to show upon return from the East Midlands with the playmaker so integral to Leicester’s attacking brand of football.

But he will also now be aware that Tottenham will be watching his performance closely ahead of a potential swoop in the summer transfer window, when Maddison will have just one year on his contract remaining.

Stellini declared: “We like Maddison. He is an important player in this league, a player with an important type of skill, like his delivery, his crossing, his right foot is a very important foot so he shoots, he crosses, he takes the set-pieces.

“He is a player you have to take care of. When you play against him, you have to be careful. When you feel how important is this type of skill, for sure you like this type of player.

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“He’s a player with talent. At the moment he’s playing for Leicester, a team we play against. We take care of him like an opponent.”

Maddison is also of huge interest to Newcastle and there are some suggestions that Manchester City would be prepared to move for the player at the end of the season.

Leicester are now facing a difficult situation with the attacking midfielder, who is yet to show any indication he will commit to fresh terms at the club.

Much like international team-mate Declan Rice at West Ham, Maddison’s best chance of earning a move could rest with running down his current deal to force Leicester’s hand.

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Spurs are still yet to replace Christian Eriksen since selling him to Inter Milan in January 2020 and a creative midfielder would therefore surely be welcomed in north London.

Maddison was on target for the Foxes against Tottenham earlier in the season when Spurs ran out 6-2 winners on home soil.

Yet Leicester’s chances of picking up points on this occasion could be bolstered by Tottenham’s Champions League responsibilities as they prepare to face AC Milan next week.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is suspended for the first leg at the San Siro meaning there is a chance Rodrigo Bentancur could be rested.

The Uruguayan international has had some muscle issues in the past few months following his return from the World Cup so his fitness must be monitored.

Son Heung-min struck a brilliant hat-trick against the Foxes in mid-September but Stellini is refusing to put additional pressure on the forward – stating he can still help the team without finding the net.

The Italian concluded: “I could show you games when Sonny was so important in the defensive situation, and how it’s important with his capacity to run, to attack the space, to create space for the other players.

“It’s not only about scoring goals: Every striker wants to score every game, but there are periods where you score more and every time you shoot, you reach the target and score.

“Sometimes you shoot a lot and are unlucky. For us, as coaches, it’s important what Sonny does for the team and when Sonny does score, we will like him every time. But I repeat: he played amazing games.”

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