Arsenal ‘cool interest’ in Tielemans – midfielder ‘more likely to sign one-year Leicester contract’

Jason Soutar
Reported Arsenal target Youri Tielemans in action

Arsenal have reportedly ‘cooled’ their interest in Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, with a contract extension now ‘more likely’ for the Belgian.

Tielemans emerged as one of Mikel Arteta’s top summer targets and is believed to be available for as little as £25m.

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The Gunners’ interest has been cast in doubt this week with a deal to sign Fabio Vieira from Porto for £34m confirmed by the Portuguese club.

However, the Evening Standard reported on Friday that the signing of Vieira is ‘not expected to alter’ the club’s pursuit of Tielemans.

Both signings are believed to be ‘possible’, with Arsenal also interested in Leeds’ Raphinha, Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez.

Despite the reports suggesting the north Londoners will bring in both midfielders, Sky Sports News reported Rob Dorsett has claimed otherwise.

Dorsett told his Twitter followers on Friday evening that Arsenal’s interest in Tielemans has ‘cooled’, which has made it ‘more likely’ he will pen a one-year contract extension with his current club.

The Gunners will ‘probably only sign one midfielder’, with Vieira all but confirmed by the Premier League giants.

Leicester’s relationship with the Belgium international is said to be ‘very cordial’ – with his professionalism whilst knowing his future lies away from the King Power being one of the main reasons Arteta likes him.

Elsewhere, Paul Merson has urged Arsenal to sign Southampton and England midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer.

“Arsenal cannot allow West Ham to buy James Ward-Prowse,” Merson wrote in his Daily Star column. “I think he is a great signing for whoever gets him. I think he is one of the best passers of the ball in England.

“Him and Trent Alexander-Arnold see things few other English players do and they can spray it around the pitch because they have such a good range of passing.”

Merson added: “I don’t understand why Arsenal are not pulling out all the stops to try and take James Ward-Prowse from Southampton.

“Arsenal need to buy experience and they would be buying an experienced England international who knows the Premier League and would make a huge difference to them.

“They are crying out for a player who can spray the ball around from the middle of the pitch.”