Arsenal target is ‘a real option’ for Manchester United, with Prem giants set to battle for Leicester star

Harry Watkinson
James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, Leicester City, January 2022

Leicester city midfielder Youri Tielemans could be a ‘real option’ for Manchester United this summer, according to reports.

The Belgium international will be out of contract at the end of the season, with it looking almost certain that he will leave the Foxes as a free agent after refusing to sign an extension.

Arsenal are long-time admirers of the 25-year-old, so United may have to battle the Gunners for Tielemans’ signature.

This is according to reputed journalist Ben Jacobs, who believes the midfielder has a real chance of heading to Old Trafford.

Speaking to Give Me Sport, he said: “I think that Tielemans was was not too sold on Manchester United under previous managers.

“But, with Erik ten Hag turning things around, if Manchester United qualify for the Champions League that could be a real option for them.

“If they lose a midfielder, they might feel like a box-to-box midfielder or an attacking midfielder, like Youri Tielemans, he could be the type of player that not only balances the books a little bit but can chip in with some goals and help add a little bit of control into central midfield.

“Manchester United and Arsenal are still two to watch.”

Ten Hag recently brought in a new midfielder Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, as a stop gap solution to Christian Eriksen’s injury woes.

However, with the likes of Eriksen and Casemiro already in their 30s, and Fred and Scott McTominay lacking consistency, Tielemans could reporesent an excellent, more long term option for United.

Indeed, the centre-mid has been excellent since joining Leicester for approximately £40m in 2019.

Overall, Tielemans has made 25 assists and scored 28 goals in 185 appearances for the Foxes, showing that he has a real eye for goal. The goals he has scored have often been absolute screamers, too.

The Belgian has all the attributes of a quality box-to-box midfielder. This season, Tielemans has averaged 2.2 successful tackles per game, which is only bettered at United by Casemiro (3.3), Bruno Fernandes (2.4) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (2.3).

In terms of going forward, the Leicester man currently averages 1.1 key passes and 1.1 shots on target per match, so he certainly has the creavitiy and confidence in front of goal to be popular at Old Trafford.

As mentioned though, Arsenal have been considering signing Tielemans for a long time, with them reportedly already having personal terms agreed with the player since last summer.

The Gunners are also flying at the moment – currently topping the Premier League and are five points clear of second-place Manchester City.

With that in mind, it looks very likely that both United and Arsenal will be competing in the Champions League next season, with the Red Devils also in the title race.

Therefore, Tielemans’ next destination is ultimately likely to come down to whichever club offers the most lucrative salary, barring any shock twists in the second half of the season.

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