Arsenal prepare bid for Prem star, but other target ‘far more likely’ to join with deal even predicted before January

Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans

Arsenal are looking to strengthen their midfield in January with not only one, but potentially two signings, according to a report.

To preserve their momentum as the Premier League leaders, Arsenal know they might need to do business in the January transfer window. Mikel Arteta wants them to have a deeper squad, which will prompt them to look at potential targets.

One area they want to address is their midfield. Granit Xhaka has started all 13 of their Premier League matches so far, which highlights how they might need more cover.

Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny are their other options in midfield. Depending on their formation, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard or Emile Smith Rowe can also be considered.

But in a midfield pairing, there has been a lot of responsibility for Xhaka and Partey so far. Hence, Arteta might want someone he can rely on more than the likes of Lokonga or Elneny.

In that regard, a couple of players have been linked heavily with the club in recent weeks. Leicester City star Youri Tielemans and Palmeiras prospect Danilo are both on their radar.

Now, a report from 90min has claimed that Arsenal could try and sign both of them in January.

By then, Tielemans will be into the final six months of his contract with Leicester, which he does not intend to renew.

Hence, it could be the Premier League side’s last chance to cash in on a player who cost them more than £30million to sign in 2019.

Leicester have indicated they want to keep Tielemans until the end of the season, and therefore the expiry of his contract, but Arsenal could test their resolve.

Danilo deal more likely than Tielemans

Danilo Oliveira, Palmeiras, April 2022.

The report acknowledges, though, that it is “far more likely” they will be successful in their pursuit of Danilo.

Talks are said to be “advanced” with Palmeiras, so much so that Arsenal could reach an agreement before the January transfer window even opens.

And despite him only being 21 years old, they have identified him as someone who could make an immediate impact in the Premier League. After all, he has already accumulated 140 senior appearances with Palmeiras.

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Still, that hasn’t decreased their interest in the more senior Tielemans, who they could yet sign simultaneously in January or on a free transfer in the summer.

There will be more competition for the Belgium international if he is available on a free. However, Arsenal will be optimistic of their long-term pursuit reaching a positive conclusion.

In turn, their midfield could become a lot stronger. Elneny, 30, is clearly approaching the end of his spell at the Emirates Stadium; his contract will expire at the end of the season unless Arsenal activate their one-year option to extend it.

Lokonga, on the flipside, still needs to build up experience before becoming a worthy member of the first-team squad.

Hence, Tielemans in particular should be able to offer more guarantees. Danilo will also have his own point to prove if he joins the increasing Brazilian contingent in Arteta’s squad.

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