Arsenal still want Leicester’s Youri Tielemans as their “top priority” midfield signing following a deal for Fabio Vieira, according to a report.
The Gunners have made their midfield a key area to bolster this summer as they look to kick on. And Arsenal sprang a surprise on Thursday evening when news of a deal for Vieira broke.
The Porto midfielder will cost Arsenal €40million (£34million), with the Gunners negotiating the fee down.
There were no concrete reports of transfer interest in Vieira before the news broke on Thursday. However, there has been plenty of talk about a potential move to Arsenal for Tielemans.
Reports have claimed that the north London club want a deal wrapped up for the Belgium international by the end of June.
And despite the surprise Vieira deal, transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Tielemans remains an Arsenal priority.
In fact, the 25-year-old is still at the top of the shortlist for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and transfer chief Edu Gaspar.
Tielemans is entering the final year of his Leicester contract. From the Foxes’ point of view, they are ready to let their star man leave as they plot a rebuild.
They would therefore be wise to sell up and avoid talks becoming fractured with Arsenal. Indeed, they would not want to lose a player of Tielemans’ quality for free next summer.
He played all but one Premier League game across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons for Leicester. The 52-cap Belgium international also scored Leicester’s winner in the 2021 FA Cup final.
Speaking recently about his future, Tielemans insisted that he is “not in a rush” and needs to consider all his options.
Arsenal need Tielemans after Vieira
Arsenal have an exciting midfield core, with Vieira adding to the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard.
However, Vieira is only 22 and the lack of serious experience in midfield for Arsenal last season played a part in them eventually missing out on a top-four Premier League finish.
Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny are the more senior options for Arteta.
Arsenal looking into Belgium duo
Arsenal are looking into Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans and Brighton's Leandro Trossard.
Still, the long-term future of the latter two at the Emirates Stadium remains unclear.
As such, Arsenal need Tielemans over the line as well as Vieira. The 25-year-old has a host of experience and is that bit older than Vieira, Smith Rowe and Odegaard.
He also has the know-how of winning trophies having brought the FA Cup to Leicester.