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Brendan Rodgers confident of new James Maddison deal amid Man Utd interest

Brendan Rodgers confident of new James Maddison deal amid Man Utd interest
© Reuters
James Maddison made his England debut in November.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is hopeful James Maddison will soon sign a new contract that will end speculation of a summer switch away from the Foxes.

Since a £22.5million move from Norwich in June 2018, Maddison has become an integral part of Rodgers' side, with his form earning him his first England cap in November followed by rumours of a January switch to Manchester United.

Such gossip refuses to go away despite the window closing, yet City are doing all they can behind the scenes to ensure the 23-year-old remains at Leicester for the long-term future.

"Talks have been ongoing with the club and his representatives," said Rodgers.

"I know the boy is very happy, he wants to be here and he sees this as the club he can develop at. I am hopeful it will be done."

For the first time since leaving Carrow Road, Maddison returns to face his old club on Friday night against the manager who propelled him into the spotlight in Daniel Farke.

Although Maddison joined Norwich in January 2016 from Coventry, it was not until Farke's arrival in May 2017 that he was given his chance which he grabbed with both hands, paving the way for his big-money move to Leicester the following summer.

Rodgers knows how important Norwich is to Maddison. He said: "When I have spoken to him on it, he will always be grateful for the opportunity he got there because he was a young player out of League One.

"When he first arrived it didn't quite happen for him, but Daniel came in and gave him that opportunity, and that opportunity allowed him to join us in the Premier League.

"I also know his sale allowed them (Norwich) the opportunity to bring in finance to stabilise the club, so it probably worked well for both.

"But everyone I know who has ever played for, or been at Norwich, has a great affinity with them and the area and James is no different."

Rodgers, though, is not expecting Maddison to show any feeling towards Norwich, with the club rooted to the foot of the table and poised for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.

"In football you can't really have sentiment," remarked Rodgers.

"He will always be thankful and grateful for what Norwich gave him. They gave him a great platform and he has come to here.

"He knows he is employed by Leicester City. The money is in his bank every month and he wants to do his very best for Leicester City, so sentiment doesn't come into it."

Rodgers has Kelechi Iheanacho available after the striker passed concussion protocols following a collision with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson that forced him off at half-time of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Pep Guardiola's side.

Hamza Choudhury returns from suspension, while fellow midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is doubtful with a knee injury.

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Norwich City boss Daniel Farke on February 1, 2020
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