Watch England vs France in the European U21 Championship on Tuesday live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 16/06/19 8:32pm
James Maddison has told Sky Sports News he is “taking transfer speculation in his stride” amid reports that the Leicester and England midfielder is worth £60m.
The 22 year-old is being linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium this summer after a debut Premier League season in which the playmaker scored seven goals and made seven assists in 36 top flight appearances.
The England international, who was signed from Norwich for a £22m fee in 2018, has reportedly been touted for a move to Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal this window.
England U21 vs France U21
June 18, 2019, 7:30pm
Asked by Sky Sports News whether a ‘£60m price tag’ and transfer talk will play on his mind at the Euros, he said: “No, you have just got to ignore that and take it all in your stride.
“As a 17 year-old boy I’d started five games for Coventry and saw on my phone that I was being linked with Tottenham and Liverpool.
“With transfer talk you need to take it as a compliment that people are even talking about you, it won’t distract me.”
Maddison was a surprise omission from the Three Lions’ senior squad for the Nations League in Portugal.
The attacking midfielder, however, thinks that more game time with the Young Lions and helping less experienced players in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad will prove more beneficial for him, than had he been selected by Gareth Southgate last month.
He said: “This tournament is going to be better experience for me than what sitting on the bench at the Nations League would have been, I have been asked that a few times and I will never look at it and think should I be with the seniors.
“I am never going to be disappointed representing the U21s with my country, I am excited and proud that I’m here.
“I feel like I’m a much more experienced player now on and off the pitch, I look around at lunch and think me and Demarai [Gray] are the old men here!
“There are little things I can help those younger lads with and in terms of game management.
“I have played over 150 games now at club level, I definitively think I’m a more senior professional now.”
With team-mates in Italy including major youth tournament winners Phil Foden, Morgan Gibbs-White, Dominic Solanke and Dominic Calvert-Lewin; Maddison is eager to help Boothroyd’s side achieve more youth level success in Italy this summer.
“The lads always mention the U20 World Cup win because its such a good highlight, but I’ve never been involved in a tournament”, he said.
“It’s brilliant to hear about the likes of Foden talking about their U17 win, and I want to be talking about a European Championship win in a month’s time.
“I can’t wait to get out there and showcase what I can bring to this team, the winning mentality is going to be important.”