Brendan Rodgers explains Arsenal target James Maddison’s absence in Leicester pre-season friendly

Maddison missed Saturday’s friendly against QPR (Picture: Getty)

James Maddison missed Leicester City’s friendly against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday after his partner went into labour, Brendan Rodgers has revealed.

The Foxes playmaker was left out of the squad on Saturday as Leicester stepped up their preparations for the new season at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Arsenal are keen to sign Maddison this summer with Mikel Arteta eager to bring in a new attacking midfielder with the England international seemingly fitting the bill.

With no official reason for his omission disclosed ahead of kick-off, Maddison’s absence sparked speculation among fans on social media with some Arsenal supporters daring to dream.

Rodgers however has poured cold water on any wild transfer theories.

Leicester new boy Patson Daka scored in the capital (Picture: Getty)

‘James was going to play but his partner Kennedy went into labour,’ Rodgers said.

‘Family is more important than football. I haven’t heard any news yet but hopefully he’ll become a father today, if he’s not already.’

While Arsenal are interested in bringing Maddison to the Emirates, Leicester are under no pressure to sell one of their prized assets and it is thought a bid of at least £70m would be needed for them to even consider doing business.

Arsenal this week confirmed the signing of Ben White from Brighton in a deal worth £50m.

During talks with White’s representatives, Mikel Arteta insisted White would not be the last ‘significant’ signing by the club this summer.

The Gunners are also thought to be keen to strengthen in goal, at right-back and in midfield having already signed Nuno Tavares as cover at left-back with Albert Sambi Lokonga arriving to bolster their options in the middle of the park.

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