Fresh reports indicate that Arsenal will wait till next summer to sign Leicester City midfielder, Youri Tielemans on a free transfer.
Arsenal have been very busy this summer transfer window. Even after spending over £110 million on new signings, the club still wants to add more reinforcements with the deadline approaching fast. One name which has been doing the rounds since the end of this year’s January window is Youri Tielemans.
Arsenal, unlike their many previous transfer windows, finished the majority of business before August. Signings done by the club include Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner, along with the return of William Saliba after the end of his loan spell with Olympique Marseille.
Various reports further suggested that the board will try to add other names to the squad. One such player who has been linked heavily with the Londoners is Youri Tielemans. Reports from June-July indicated that the Belgian would arrive at the Emirates before the end of the transfer window. However, recent reports point to a different narrative.
🚨 Unless Arsenal follow up their interest in Youri Tielemans, he will let his contract run down at Leicester City & leave as a free agent at the end of the season. [@RobTannerLCFC] #afc pic.twitter.com/JTFZrJoNMV
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 16, 2022
According to Football.London, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has made a ‘decision’ regarding Youri Tielemans after his Arsenal ‘trial’ at the Emirates Stadium last week. With just one year left on his contract, the club now prefers to wait and sign the midfielder next season when he is available for free.
Reports from credible sources suggested that the 25-year-old is very unlikely to extend his stay at the King Power Stadium beyond his current contract. Thus, Arsenal are confident of getting him before the next season commences.
Arsenal and Youri Tielemans go a long way back. The Londoners scouted the Belgian back in 2017, when he opted for AS Monaco over the English club. Since his breakthrough performances for Leicester, the Gunners have been continually linked with the midfielder. Even after his initial loan spell with Leicester, the Londoners were linked with a move for the player.
After missing out on targets during January, the club has since then been rumoured to make a definitive move for the player in the summer. However, many other top clubs, including Manchester United, have been keeping an eye on the Foxes’ star player.
Been told Youri Tielemans is not considering to sign a contract extension with Leicester now – could be an option in September in case he doesn't leave, but not now. 🇧🇪 #AFC
Arsenal are working on it since long time… but no official bid yet. Other clubs are also interested.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 17, 2022
Reports from different sources confirmed that Tielemans would favour Arsenal over United. He knew about the interest from both the clubs and was ready to hold out for the Londoners. The Belgian did not want to extend his contract with the Foxes and hoped that a deal would be agreed upon soon.
Back in July, Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha had confirmed that there was nothing concrete in the transfer rumours regarding Tielemans. He told that the club had yet not received any proposition or offer for the midfielder from any club.
Transfer expert and The Athletic reporter David Ornstein had earlier mentioned the Arsenal liking towards Youri Tielemans. He stated that Leicester would be open to selling if the right offer arrived, but the Gunners had not made any moves till then.
Further, Ornstein reported that the North London club would have to ‘let someone go’ to make space for the midfielder. The name which cropped up was former captain Granit Xhaka.
🔊🗣️ "The midfielder, it has always been Tielemans at the top of the list for Arsenal, but still no official bid to Leicester, I’m told Arsenal are still focused on outgoings." [@FabrizioRomano]
— Z (@ArsenaIAgenda) August 18, 2022
With two gameweeks already in, Xhaka’s exit looks more and more unlikely. Another The Athletic report mentioned that Xhaka is now part of a new leadership group. This group has been made to back the new first-team captain, Martin Odegaard.
Arsenal faced Leicester at the Emirates Stadium in their second league match last week. But if that game was any audition for Tielemans, that did not go according to the plan. Clearly, he was not at his best and was substituted in the 63rd minute, with the Gunners eventually winning the match comfortably 4-2. However, Arsenal fans were chanting and singing his name, welcoming their ‘next signing’.
Further, social media went crazy after a video showed Gabriel Jesus telling something to the Belgian midfielder while covering his mouth, in the 25th minute of the game.
Whilst nobody can be sure about what he said to Tielemans, the Gooners are optimistically predicting that the striker was speaking about his transfer. We already know his role in the signing of his club teammate Zinchenko from Manchester City. The Ukrainian revealed how the Brazilian international already told him about the “amazing atmosphere” inside the club.
Arsenal fans chant:
🗣 “Youri Tielemans, we will see you next week.”
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) August 13, 2022
Youri Tielemans arrived at Leicester from Monaco initially on a six-month loan in January 2019. Later in the summer, his transfer to the English club was made permanent for around £32 million. In three-and-a-half seasons with the Foxes, the Belgian has played 161 matches and has 24 goals and 24 assists in that period (stats via transfermarkt).
In the Premier League, he has appeared in 123 matches, scoring 18 goals and getting 19 assists. The former Anderlecht player has become a vital cog in the Brendan Rodgers-led team, with Leicester unwilling to part ways with their midfielder. He further has 51 caps with the Belgian national team, with five goals to his name.
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Mikel Arteta did not rule out the possibility of further new signings before September. Talking to the press about Arsenal’s plans for the remaining window, the Spaniard said:
“We are really active as you can see with incomings and outgoings.
“Everything is still open, it’s a long window, a lot has happened.
“It’s incredible how much business the clubs have done across the Premier League and it shows how competitive it is and this season is not going to stop that.”
Arsenal will be competing in the Premier League, Europa League, EFL Trophy and FA Cup this season. Keeping in mind that they will be involved in at least 50 matches this season, Arsenal will need depth in all the positions. The Gunners will be safe with another central midfield signing.
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