Arsenal are working on a January deal for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans amid interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spanish publication Sport claim (today’s edition, page 23).
The Gunners have been long-term admirers of the Belgium international and they were frequently linked with him during the last transfer window. The £40 million price tag may have put them off.
Tielemans will enter the final six months of his Foxes deal in January and Sport now report that Barcelona and Real Madrid are considering the prospect of negotiating a pre-contract for next season.
However, the outlet claim that Arsenal start with ‘an advantage’ as manager Mikel Arteta is ‘working’ on a plan to bring the 25-year-old to north London during the January transfer window.
Contacts have ‘already’ taken place with the player as they look to prise him away this winter.
Arsenal must land Tielemans in January
Tielemans had a disappointing start to the season, but his form picked up after the last international break.
The Belgian was handed the captain’s armband in Jonny Evans’ injury absence. He has since excelled with his leadership as well as performances on the field. The midfielder has also made goal contributions.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers’ has dismissed the possibility of Tielemans leaving in January, but it won’t be a surprise if the hierarchy decide to cash in on the player rather than losing him on a free transfer.
Arsenal continue to remain favourites to land his signature, but he may not come for cheap. The Foxes could possibly hold out for around £20m to part ways with the former Monaco man.
Tielemans would offer good competition to Granit Xhaka in the number eight role. He can also operate from an attacking midfield or holding midfield position. His versatility would suit the Gunners.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will make a formal bid in January. If they were to wait until the summer, there is a good possibility that he could end up at Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com