Arsenal have “cooled” their interest in Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans but a deal should not be ruled out, according to Charles Watts.
Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the Belgian and has completed extensive background checks before the club engaged in discussions over a deal.
The Gunners have already reportedly agreed personal terms with the 25-year-old but have not yet tabled an offer to Leicester.
Arteta and technical director Edu are currently prioritising moves for Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez and Leeds United’s Raphinha, meaning their pursuit of Tielemans has significantly slowed down.
This has been confirmed by Goal reporter Charles Watts, who says Arsenal’s interest has “cooled”, though they could “revisit” the situation should their transfer business elsewhere be concluded soon, or if a midfielder who is currently at the club departs.
“Arsenal have stepped back a little bit when it comes to Tielemans,” Watts said on his YouTube podcast. “All of their focus has been on the other deals… Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, obviously, Lisandro Martinez in defence.
“But in midfield, they’re not quite so concerned at the moment because of the options that they’ve got. They’ve got (Fabio) Vieira in which was a big boost, a surprise boost, to the midfield.
“They kind of feel like they are pretty well equipped at the moment and with Tielemans, it’s just, because of all that, they’ve kind of cooled it a little bit but it’s one they could revisit towards the end of the transfer window once they get all the deals done and they see what happens in terms of potential outgoings.
“Say someone comes in for Granit Xhaka, for example, between now and the end of the window, which I am not saying it will happen but it might. I thought there was a good chance he could end up at Roma; that’s not going to happen because of Nemanja Matic going there. But, someone else could come in for Granit Xhaka and if it did happen, then that’s where potentially you can go in for Youri Tielemans and look to get this deal done.
“So I wouldn’t totally rule out Tielemans at the moment, but they’ve kind of taken a step back from that as we speak, to focus on getting all these other deals done, which they are really pushing forward on.”