Arsenal remain very much in the hunt to sign Youri Tielemans, with Fabrizio Romano explaining why the Gunners are yet to push through the Leicester midfielder’s transfer.
Tielemans looks likely to leave Leicester this summer, with his deal at the King Power Stadium expiring next summer. His future has been the subject of intense speculation for several weeks with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United both linked withb moves. However, with just over a week to go before the new season begins, he remains a Foxes player.
Indeed, it seems both player and his manager Brendan Rodgers are keen for the saga to be resolved. The Foxes manager admits it’s highly unlikely the player will remain at the club beyond the window and suggests his sale is in their best interests.
Referring to the possibility of him staying at Leicester and leaving on a free next summer, Rodgers said: “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.”
With all that in mind, it seems surprising that Tielemans is yet to get himself fixed up with a new side.
Manchester United’s interest appears to be on the backburner as they pursue a deal for Frenkie de Jong. To that end, Tielemans looks for all intents and purposes one of their Plan B options at best.
Arsenal wait over Youri Tielemans transfer cleared up
That surely leaves Arsenal as the leading candidate to secure his signature. However, despite seemingly having a free pass to his signing, Arsenal are yet to make their move.
That has led to suggestions that Mikel Arteta is concerned the player is too light-weight and not robust enough.
However, providing an update on the saga, Romano is adamant that is not a concern for Arteta.
He also confirms, in conjunction with earlier claims, that the Gunners have tracked the player for several months now.
But in explaining the delay to Caught Offside, he says the Gunners need to focus on outgoings first before sanctioning his signing.
They have already invested over £100m on new players and the onus, for now, is on departures first.
“There’s been some speculation that Arsenal are concerned about Youri Tielemans’ physicality, but I have no news on any issues like this,” Romano wrote.
“My latest update on the situation is that Arsenal have been in contact for the Belgian midfielder for months. However, the priority goes to the outgoings in that position.
“Leicester have not received any proposals so far, but my prediction is that he will end up leaving.
“He has a year left on his contract, and I think Tielemans being available for a reduced price of £30-35m is an incredible opportunity for big clubs.”
Good things coming for Arsenal
It does seem surprising that Arsenal are yet to push through a deal for Tielemans yet.
However, with Fabio Vieira and the versatile Oleksandr Zinchenko offering options in midfield, Arsenal’s urgency to get Tielemans done has eased.
The beauty for Arsenal with this situation is, by all intents and purposes, they are the sole suitors for his signature. That might change if United lose out on De Jong. And in that instance, Edu and Arteta’s urgency will probably change too.
To that end, we’re still firmly expecting Tielemans to end up at Arsenal before the window closes. And it seems there’s still a chance the deal can go through before the season gets underway.
What's next for Youri Tielemans?
Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is still being linked with Manchester United and Arsenal.
For now though, the Gunners can afford to shift their current focus on offloading some of their deadwood. The likes of Lucas Torreira and Nicolas Pepe look the nearest to heading out the exit door.
Bernd Leno is another who will likely soon depart. Fulham are in the mix for his signature, though Leicester are now looking to hijack that deal amid doubts over Kasper Schmeichel.