‘Talks are intensifying’ as Arsenal target Leicester midfielder

Jason Soutar
Reported Arsenal target Youri Tielemans dribbling with the ball

Arsenal are ‘interested’ in signing Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, according to reports.

The Belgium midfielder is out of contract in 2023 and has been linked with a move to Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

He has been a mainstay in the Foxes’ midfield since joining from Monaco in 2019.

Manchester United have uniquely high expectations of young players

Transfermarkt values the midfielder at £49.5million and Leicester may be forced to cash in to avoid losing him for free at the end of his contract.

Arsenal have been left short in midfield after Ainsley Maitland-Niles joined Roma on loan. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are also absent due to their participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Goal report that the Gunners are ‘interested’ in signing Tielemans and are eager ‘to bolster their midfield during the January transfer window’.

The report adds that ‘talks are intensifying’ after Arsenal opened discussions with the 24-year-old’s representatives.

Tielemans is unlikely to renew his deal at the King Power Stadium, but manager Brendan Rodgers remains hopeful he can keep the playmaker.

Speaking in October, the Foxes boss said: “Naturally it’s one the club will do everything they possibly can in order to keep Youri.

“My focus is on making him the best player he can be. It’s between his representatives and the club and hopefully they will find a solution.

“He’s a wonderful guy to work with, and today’s was a sensational strike. He creates goals, he scores goals and he’s a real brain in our midfield.”

Meanwhile, Independent journalist Miguel Delaney reports that Fiorentina are “demanding” the majority of their asking price up front for Dusan Vlahovic, amidst interest from the Gunners.

Delaney adds that Arsenal are willing to meet Fiorentina’s transfer valuation – as long as they agree on the structure of the deal – as they attempt to sign the player this month.

The Gunners want to pay the club record transfer fee over four years and can afford the Serbian striker without selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Vlahovic is one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe and has been heavily linked with a move away from the Viola in recent months.

He has scored 18 goals in 22 matches this season after a stellar 2020/21 campaign in which he netted 21 times in 37 league encounters.