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'You need to take it as a compliment' - Leicester's Maddison ignoring Man Utd links

09:11 SAST 2019/06/17
James Maddison Manchester United
The 22-year-old insists that rumours of a summer move will not distract him from his duties for England's U21s at the European Championship

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison is remaining quiet on speculation surrounding his future, with Manchester United reported to be chasing his signature.

The England Under-21 international completed a move from Norwich to the King Power Stadium in 2018 and enjoyed a superb debut season in the Premier League, contributing seven goals and seven assists in 36 matches.

The 22-year-old also managed to create 100 goalscoring chances for his team-mates in total, which was more than any other player managed in the top flight.

Maddison was touted for a call up to Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad for the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in Portugal but just missed out on a place in the final 23.

Manchester United are the favourites to land the Foxes playmaker in the summer window, with his current market value reportedly set at around £60 million ($76m).

Ahead of England's U21 European Championships campaign, Maddison was asked if he has been affected by swirling transfer rumours, to which he offered a defiant response.

"No, you have just got to ignore that and take it all in your stride," he told Sky Sports .

"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."

Aidy Boothroyd's England youngsters begin their quest for Euro 2019 glory with a clash against France on Tuesday night.

Croatia and Romania have also been drawn in Group C, with the Three Lions among the favourites to win this year's competition in Italy .

Maddison insists he is not dwelling on his senior squad snub and hopes to be an influential figure in the dressing room as the tournament progresses.

"I am never going to be disappointed representing the U21s with my country, I am excited and proud that I'm here," he added.

"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 definitely think I'm a more senior professional now.

"The lads always mention the U20 World Cup win because it's such a good highlight, but I've never been involved in a tournament

"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."