Emery seeks ‘quick’ deal for long-term Arsenal target with Villa ‘expected to approach’ club

Jason Soutar
Aston Villa-linked Youri Tielemans. James Maddison and Jonny Evans complain to the referee

Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Youri Tielemans following the expiry of his Leicester City contract, according to a report.

The Foxes confirmed on Monday that Tielemans is one of seven players set to depart the club next month.

The announcement comes following their relegation to the Championship on the final day of the Premier League season last month.

Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu joined in 2018 from Freiburg and has featured over 100 times for Leicester, while fellow centurion Daniel Amartey made his first appearances for the club during their Premier League title-winning season in 2016.

Nampalys Mendy, Ryan Bertrand, Ayoze Perez and Tete will also leave the King Power following the expiration of their contracts.

Captain Jonny Evans remains in discussions with the Foxes as his contract is set to expire this month, while an option has been exercised to extend Hamza Choudhury’s contract to June 2024.

Tielemans announced his exit on Instagram last week after spending four years with the club since joining from Monaco in 2019.

The Belgian international has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the last 18 months and many thought the Londoners would make a bid to sign him last summer.

Mikel Arteta opted against signing Tielemans, however, and the Gunners now appear to be aiming higher having finished second in the Premier League in 2022/23.

This has opened the door for Newcastle United, Manchester United and now, apparently, Aston Villa in the battle to land the 26-year-old.

According to The Athletic, the Villans are ‘expected to make an approach for Tielemans soon’.

Villa’s excellent 22/23 campaign means they will play in the Europa Conference League next season and Unai Emery is eager to bolster his midfield after failing to do so in the winter transfer window.

The report says Emery wants the signing ‘completed quickly’ with there expected to be lots of interest with Tielemans being available as a free agent.

Villa signed Boubacar Kamara when his Marseille contract expired last summer and could make an equally as shrewd signing if they bring in Tielemans.

The former Monaco player made 195 appearances for the Foxes and will always be fondly remembered at the King Power having scored the only goal in their FA Cup final win over Chelsea in 2021.

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