Leicester City's Youri Tielemans has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal in recent months.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Youri Tielemans all summer.
Mikel Arteta’s side have already added five first-team signings during the transfer window, adding Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, Matt Turner, Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira to their young squad. However, that hasn’t stopped them from consistently being linked to Leicester City star Tielemans as well.
The Belgian international is into the final 12 months of his contract at the King Power Stadium, meaning he could be available for a bargain price this summer. With all that being said, football.london has roundded up all the latest news surrounding a potential deal for the 25-year-old all in one place.
Arsenal are yet to make an official bid for Tielemans whilst the Foxes have now set a deadline for any deal to be completed for the former Monaco maestro, according to the Evening Standard. Speaking about the Belgian’s future over the weekend, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: “There is that possibility [Tielemans could leave] but there has not been anything for him, we haven’t had any approaches to the club yet on that.
“Of course it is in the back of the mind, that sort of what-if scenario, but he doesn’t want anything to drag on either.”
Despite Arsenal’s apparent interest in Tielemans, a move is yet to be made for the Leicester City midfielder. That’s because, according to David Ornstein, the Gunners may have to sell a midfielder to bring one in.
Discussing the move, he said: “The decision makers at the club are all-in on him but it’s more complicated than that because when you speak to people around this situation they make it clear that there may need to be a departure first for Tielemans to come in, be that Granit Xhaka or someone else in that area of the field to free up the space and the finance.”
Rodgers delivers update
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has delivered an update on the 25-year-old’s future, admitting that no progress has been made with a new contract. “There’s no update at all,” Rodgers said when quizzed on Tielemans’ contract negotiations.
“He’s an amazing guy to work with. He’s just rejoined the club (for pre-season) and he’s pretty much the same. In training he’s very committed. He’s happy in his work and he’s happy at the club. But naturally with a year in his contract he may feel he has to look at everything for him and his family. But I certainly know he’s committed here while he is here.
“I’ll have a good chat with Youri next week to get privately what he’s thinking. But it won’t change, whether he’s leaving or staying for another five years, he’ll still be super committed.”
When asked if the Foxes would accept the player staying for the final 12 months of his contract before leaving on a free transfer, next summer the Northern Irishman added: “I’m not sure. For that to happen that means there’s been no acceptable offer or there hasn’t been an offer. That’s the reality.
“From Youri’s perspective, he’ll continue to train and work. He’s very focused on getting himself fit and like he always is with the team, he’s a great guy to have in the squad. Until that changes, I will give everything to keep developing him and the team. There is a possibility, but we have to wait and see.”
Newcastle United have stepped up their interest in Tielemans. The club’s sporting director Dan Ashworth has personally made enquiries about the Arsenal target as the Magpies search for reinforcements in the midfield.
Sergej-Milinkovic Savic factor
In recent days, Arsenal has linked with Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic as they assess their options for the remainder of the window. The Serbian has attracted the attention of many, but according to Ben Jacobs of CBS Sports, Tielemans remains Arsenal’s number one choice.
Taking to Twitter, the reporter wrote: “Youri Tielemans update. Told Tielemans is more likely than Sergej Milinković-Savić for Arsenal. No truth yet in any bid, though. Man United’s interest is growing and could finally provoke formal offers from both clubs. Tielemans wants Arsenal. But as yet, nothing tabled to #LCFC.”
Tielemans’ stance on Arsenal transfer revealed
Ben Jacobs of CBS Sports has also said that the player is ‘sold on’ a move to Arteta’s side and is ‘waiting’ for a deal to be agreed. Tielemans is due to be available at a cut-price fee of around £30 million, and although Manchester United are interested in taking him to Old Trafford, if the Gunners do decide to make a move for him, they’re expected to be favourites in the race.
Personal terms agreed
Arsenal have been linked with a move for Tielemans since last summer, so it is no surprise that reports of a deal have intensified once again this year. According to Jacobs, personal terms between the Gunners and the midfielder are already in place.
“Tielemans wants to join Arsenal, and Edu is still in touch with his agent,” he wrote on Twitter. “Arsenal agreed to terms and worked on the deal for a year but never placed an official bid.”
Midfielder ‘fully sold’ on Arsenal move
Jacobs also revealed more on the battle for Tielemans in an interview with GiveMeSport this week. Manchester United are challenging for the Belgian’s signature, but according to Jacobs, the Gunners are his number one choice.
“He’s fully sold on a move to Arsenal, so if Manchester United were to bid for Tielemans, they will only get him if Arsenal decide that’s fine, go ahead and take the player,” CBS reporter Ben Jacobs told GiveMeSport. “It’s not really a head-to-head.
“I think that Manchester United’s potential interest in Tielemans, which is still to be stood up, could just catalyse Arsenal to make another bid or may have Arsenal say, ‘I’m sorry, but we’re not interested. Go ahead and join Manchester United if you want.”
Belgian breaks silence
Tielemans has admitted that leaving Leicester City this summer isn’t out of the question. When asked if he could leave the King Power this summer, the talented playmaker said, via The Daily Mail: “That is not out of the question. I feel very good at Leicester, I was welcomed with open arms from day one.
“I give everything for the club until the last day. But of course, you have to listen to other opportunities, you have to look at your career, and sometimes you have to make choices. Maybe one will come my way.”
Tielemans told to complete move
Darren Bent believes that the Belgian midfielder is perfectly made for Arsenal. Reports suggest he could be available for only £25million this summer with just a year remaining on his contract.
“If he was to leave, I would like him to come to Arsenal. I really like him, Youri Tielemans,” Bent told talkSPORT, as cited by the Mirror.
“I think he is a very good player. He starts in that Belgium team as well. He has got good quality to him. I think he fits in at Arsenal nicely, I really do.”
According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, Tielemans is Arsenal’s primary midfield target. Meanwhile, Ruben Neves and Arthur Melo continue to be admired.
He wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Arsenal are taking their time in choosing the new midfielder.
“Ruben Neves and Arthur Melo have been two names on the list for some time, two very popular players in the club; the priority as of now goes to Youri Tielemans.”
Romano also states that Tielemans will leave Leicester City this summer, with the midfielder a target for Arsenal ahead of the transfer window opening. But they are not alone in their pursuit and will have to fend off competition from more than one rival to secure his signature.
Pursuit stepped up
Arteta is pushing Arsenal to make an opening £25million offer for Tielemans, according to The Telegraph. football.london previously reported that the Gunners are keen on signing the Belgian, and the aforementioned report claims that Arteta has identified him as one of his leading summer targets.
The player has previously admitted that he is keen to play in the UEFA Champions League next season, but he is now said to be open to the prospect of playing in the Europa League, the European competition the north Londoners will be playing in next term.
Arsenal executive claim
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Arsenal’s key decision-makers are all thought to be ‘in favour’ of pursuing a move for Leicester maestro Tielemans. The Gunners have reportedly been handed some encouragement in the early stages of talks with his representatives.
Rodgers refutes rejection claims
Amid the reports claiming that Tielemans had rejected a new deal at the King Power Stadium, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has hit back. Following the Foxes’ 2-2 draw with West Ham United – a game in which the former Monaco man found the net – the northern Irishman refuted that Tielemans had turned down a new deal.
He said: “He hasn’t declined. For me, his position is exactly the same as what it was. He’s a fantastic player, and there’s been no movement whatsoever. He’s a player who has continued to work and is working well. Until the last day he’s here, whether that’s at the end of the contract or summer or beyond that, he will always give his best because he’s a top professional, and he showed his commitment today. There’s interest trying to be generated by other people.”