Arsenal ‘hold talks’ over Youri Tielemans transfer as Leicester contract winds down

Arsenal have held exploratory talks with Youri Tielemans ‘ agent as the Leicester ace faces a crucial decision over his future, according to reports.

Tielemans, 24, has entered the final 18 months of his contract at the King Power and he is not believed to be interested in signing an extension.

The Belgium international is regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League and memorably scored a brilliant winner against Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup final.

The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United were linked with Tielemans earlier this season and the player declared he is “open to everything” last September.

But Arsenal have seized the initiative by holding initial talks over a summer transfer for the former Monaco man.

How much will Youri Tielemans be worth at the end of the season with one year remaining on his contract? Have your say in the comments…

Youri Tielemans scored a magical goal to win last season’s FA Cup final
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Pool via REUTERS)

That is according to Goal , which claims these discussions have taken place at the Gunners’ London Colney base over the last few weeks.

The report adds Tielemans is likely to stay put during the January transfer window and the Foxes will try to tie him down to a new deal before the end of the season.

But this outcome is looking increasingly unlikely, which could force Brendan Rodgers’ side to sell up in the summer.

Arsenal have positioned themselves in pole position to sign Tielemans with manager Mikel Arteta regarding midfield as a priority area for recruitment.

The north Londoners have purchased Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga for a combined fee in excess of £62million during the Spaniard’s reign.

Nonetheless, Arsenal have often found themselves short of options in the centre of the park; at present Partey and Mohamed Elneny are at the Africa Cup of Nations while Granit Xhaka struggles with illness.

Technical director Edu has identified Juventus star Arthur Melo as a stopgap signing to address this midfield crisis and the Brazilian could join on loan this month, but there is not expected to be an option or obligation to buy the 25-year-old included in the deal.

Youri Tielemans has scored five Premier League goals this season
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Action Images via Reuters)

This means Arsenal will almost certainly be back in the market for a midfielder at the season’s end, with Tielemans emerging as a key target.

The Anderlecht academy graduate has made 131 appearances for Leicester since joining on an initial loan in 2017 which was made permanent the following year for a reported fee of £32million.

He was voted Leicester’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season last campaign after scoring nine goals and registering six assists in all competitions, helping the Foxes qualify for the Europa League as well as win the FA Cup.

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