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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be playing a dangerous game by waiting to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans until he becomes a free agent next summer. The Gunners have been heavily linked with a potential move for Tielemans, who is only tied down to the Foxes until the end of the season and has previously rejected the offer of a new contract at the King Power Stadium.
The Belgian playmaker has been tipped to join Arsenal for some time and Arteta is believed to have a genuine interest in bringing him to north London in the not-too-distant future. However, the Gunners manager is unwilling to sanction a move for Tielemans this summer and will instead be looking to snap him up on a free transfer in a year’s time, according to football.london.
It is claimed that Arsenal are prepared to wait in order to avoid spending an extortionate amount of money on Tielemans, who is reportedly valued at around £32million by his current employers. Arteta and Edu are said to believe that the player is not worthy of a bid that matches Leicester’s asking price and will not rush to firm up their interest in his services as a result of his club’s financial demands.
However, it seems as though Arsenal could end up losing out on Tielemans if they are too careful with regards to a move for his signature over the coming weeks and months. A number of other sides have also been credited with a desire to land the 25-year-old, who has established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest young midfielders since joining Leicester from Monaco for a club-record fee back in 2019.
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The likes of Liverpool and Chelsea are said to have joined Arsenal in keeping a close eye on Tielemans, which suggests that the north Londoners will need to secure Champions League qualification this season in order to stand the best chance of bringing him to the Emirates Stadium next summer. It is hard to imagine that Arsenal will be the only club with a plan to chase Tielemans at the end of the campaign and the presence or absence of Europe’s premier club competition could potentially make or break their chances of getting a deal done when push comes to shove.
Arsenal currently have a number of existing options to choose from in midfield, including the likes of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga and new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko. They could well reap the rewards of a move for Tielemans next summer, though, with former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell already having put the Leicester man forward as the ideal capture in the middle of the park.
“I think Youri Tielemans is the one they will be looking at,” Campbell told Football Insider earlier this year. “Tielemans is a player Arsenal need, he has a different game to [James] Maddison.
“I’m sure Arteta will see him as our type of player. For me, Tielemans is the one and I hope we can get that deal done in the summer.”
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