‘Strong likelihood’ £35k-a-week star joins on a free

Arsenal would rather wait until the summer to potentially sign midfielder Youri Tielemans with that outcome a ‘strong likelihood’, journalist Ben Jacobs has told GIVEMESPORT.

Tielemans, who has played over 170 games for Leicester City, is in the final six months of his contract at the King Power Stadium and will be available on a bargain free transfer later this year.

What’s the latest news on Tielemans and Arsenal?

When the 25-year-old joined Leicester on a permanent transfer in July 2019, there was a sense that it could just be a stop-gap for the young Belgian midfielder. Instead, four years and almost 200 appearances later, Tielemans is still a Foxes player having shaped one of the club’s most impactful periods.

Helping guide Leicester to their first-ever FA Cup in 2021, Tielemans netted the goal that delivered silverware after rifling a strike into the top corner from 25 yards out. Heralded by Leicester supporters for delivering that club-defining moment, it looks as if the Belgian international might be waving goodbye to the East Midlands outfit come the end of the season.

With his £35,000 a week contract set to run out in June, the likelihood of Tielemans leaving as free-agent increases by the day. As reported in The Telegraph, Leicester began contract talks with the midfielder two years ago but are yet to strike up a deal. Having competed in Europe for the last two campaigns Leciester’s lowly league position this term and the dwindling chance of continental football next season, Tielemans’ exit in the summer now appears inevitable.

What has Jacobs said about Tielemans and Arsenal?

In an interview with GMS, CBS reporter Jacobs hinted that Arsenal and sporting director Edu would probably prefer to try and land Tielemans on a free transfer when the Leicester midfielder’s contract expires in June.

“So from Arsenal’s perspective with buy-in from the player and long-standing talks on the personal terms side, they could just wait until the summer and get him at tremendous value in terms of a free transfer.

“If Arsenal feel they can take that approach and play the long game with Tielemans and get him at value, there’s a strong likelihood that’s exactly what they’ll do.

“But the complication is the fact that with Leicester’s form being hit and miss, and perhaps with Tielemans feeling like Arsenal kept him waiting a little bit over the summer, should another suitor come in this January then Arsenal will have a decision to make.”

What would Tielemans offer Arsenal?

It is no secret that Mikel Arteta has craved strength in depth, particularly in midfield, for some time. Tielemans had been the subject of Arsenal interest in the summer, with reports suggesting the Gunners were considering a £30 million move.

Ultimately, it didn’t materialise, with Arsenal then unsuccessfully attempting to sign Douglas Luiz on deadline day. It left Arteta with limited options in the centre of the park, something he is likely to want to change this summer.

A combative midfield player, Tielemans is capable of playing in various different midfield roles from holding midfield, to a box-to-box operator, or even an advanced creator. Without a doubt, Tielemans’ best quality is his versatility and his signing would add a different dynamic to an Arsenal side that has at times looked one-dimensional when things aren’t going their way.

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