To be fair to Leicester City, to lose such a player on a free could be just as bad as losing him for cheap. That would also mean no additional money to invest in a replacement. We need to spend around £35-45m to replace a player of Maddison’s calibre. So, to earn literally £0 towards that would equally be a mistake.
So, the Foxes cannot repeat the mistakes of the very recent past and lose several big names on big contracts for no returning value. A rebuild needs money, Leicester need to make money somewhere, somehow.
On top of this, there is one major benefit: the wage bill. Jamie Vardy, the English attacking-midfielder, James Justin, Ricardo Pereira, Harvey Barnes, etc. there are many on rather large wages which will be good to reduce those as our income falls from a lack of European football.
Furthermore, by freeing those wages, we can invest more both in terms of transfer value and increasing existing star’s wages to keep them here on longer contract. The attacking-midfielder is on massive wages, and freeing them up will be extremely useful.
It is upsetting that this may become the norm once again: selling a big player every season to save money and reinvest in other positions. Additionally, the youth squad will improve and eventually there are midfielders who will come up the ranks. Will Alvez, Sammy Braybrooke, and Wanya Marcal-Madivadua are obvious examples.