Arsenal ‘huge late bid’ for Caicedo alternative mooted after ‘verbal agreement’ was reached last year

Date published: Monday 30th January 2023 3:29 - Lewis Oldham

Arsenal target Tielemans

Arsenal are reportedly considering a ‘late bid’ to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans as an alternative to Brighton standout Moises Caicedo.

The Gunners are looking to sign a new midfielder before the January transfer window closes. A summer move for Declan Rice is being planned but before that, they have been pursuing Caicedo.

Brighton are unwilling to let him leave this month unless they receive a bid of around £80m. Arsenal are currently shy of that figure with their latest offer reportedly worth up to £75m including add-ons.

Tielemans would certainly be a much cheaper option as his contract at Leicester is due to expire in the summer.

Arsenal were linked with him last summer when he was valued at around £30m by their Premier League rivals. The player has already made it clear that he has no intention to extend his current deal.

Ben Jacobs is reporting that a “pivot away from Caicedo” cannot be ruled out. Though he notes that they will only move for Tielemans “if other clubs try to jump in”.

‘I don’t think we can rule out Arsenal pivoting away from Caicedo, even though time is running out,’ Jacobs wrote for Caught Offside.

‘But I think with Tielemans, to reiterate, we know he would take the Arsenal move and that, broadly speaking, terms have been agreed, dating back almost a year now.

‘Conversations first took place last January, and there was a verbal agreement over personal terms between Arsenal and Tielemans, and the player genuinely thought the move would happen.

‘The challenge now is Leicester, because even though you’d think, with the player not wanting to sign a new contract, that getting money for him now is better than him leaving on a free transfer in the summer, Leicester see Tielemans staying until the end of the season as more valuable than cashing in now for a relatively small amount.

‘If Tielemans is the difference between Leicester staying up or going down, then there could be more value in keeping him now and then losing him on a free.

‘I think Arsenal’s preference, if they do decide to target Tielemans, would still be to get him on a free in the summer if they can, and they’ll only change that approach if other clubs try to jump in ahead of them in the final hours of the transfer window.’

A separate report from 90min states that a ‘late bid’ for Tielemans is ‘being considered’.

It is suggested that Leicester ‘may consider letting him leave’ if they were not involved in a relegation battle in the Premier League.

Tielemans ‘would be open to a move’ but it would take a ‘huge bid’ for Leicester to sell him this month given the funds they would be in line to make if he can help them avoid relegation.

READ MORE: Every Premier League club’s greatest ever January transfer window signing


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