Arsenal target Youri Tielemans has “100 per cent” decided against signing a new Leicester City contract, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Belgian midfielder’s current deal expires next year.
He was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window with Leicester willing to entertain offers in the region of £30million.
No offer came in, however, and Tielemans stayed put.
He started the season relatively slowly but has gradually improved, as have Leicester as a whole.
With Thomas Partey injury prone and Albert Sambi Lokonga yet to fully adapt to English football, signing a new central midfielder is probably on the agenda when the transfer window opens in January.
Arsenal failed to sign Douglas Luiz on deadline day after having three bids rejected by Aston Villa.
The Brazilian is a different type of midfielder to Tielemans, so it will be interesting to see if the Gunners try to sign him on a cut-price deal in the winter window, or if they will go for someone similar to Luiz – who has since penned a new long-term contract at Villa Park.
They have been heavily linked with Luiz’s compatriot Danilo, who currently plays for Brazilian outfit Palmeiras.
Mikel Arteta is also thought to be keen on signing a new winger in January, with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk a reported target.
You got the impression in the summer that Arsenal would have made a move for Tielemans if another club bit the bullet, so this could happen in the winter, as opposed to waiting on him being available for nothing six months later.
And the 25-year-old is expected to be a free agent next year unless he completes a move in January.
This is according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who says there is no chance Tielemans pens a new Leicester contract.
“It is quiet because he will not sign a new contract with Leicester. 100 per cent,” he said on the House of Champions Podcast.
“He will leave on a free. He already decided one year ago.
“I see Tielemans leaving on a free and I see Tielemans as a big opportunity in the market.
“He’s underrated, he’s young, he’s talented, he’s Premier League proven, he’s a great midfielder in a position where it is hard to find top players.
“There will be a big race, Arsenal wanted him in the summer and other English clubs are exploring this race.”
As well as Arsenal, Tielemans has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool.