Arsenal are set to suffer a transfer set-back with Premier League rivals Leicester reportedly ‘quietly confident’ of avoiding Youri Tielemans for nothing in 2023. The Belgian international’s contract expires at the end of the season and he would therefore be available for free – but the Foxes are fighting tooth and nail to keep their star midfielder at the club.
Tielemans has been a key man for Leicester since joining the club from Monaco in 2019. He has made 175 appearances in his three-year stint in the East Midlands scoring 27 goals, most notably the winner in the 2021 FA Cup final to win the trophy for the Foxes for the first time.
It had been widely expected that the 25-year-old would depart the King Power Stadium in 2023 with little progress made in negotiations for a new deal. The player was believed to be seeking a new challenge, potentially at a team competing in the Champions League with Arsenal the team most heavily linked with a move.
However, the Daily Mail have reported that Leicester are ‘quietly confident’ of avoiding losing Tielemans on a free next summer. A new deal remains on the table and the club maintains close contact with the player’s agent. Should a new contract not be agreed the Foxes will look to sell him in January in order to receive something for his services.
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The news will come as something as a blow to Arsenal with Mikel Arteta unwilling to pay the Midland side’s £25million asking price for the technician. The Gunners now face losing Tielemans to another side or he may choose to stay where he is.
It would likely take huge wages to keep the Belgian in Leicester with the player also likely to insist a respectable buy-out clause is inserted into the deal. Brendan Rodgers would have other chips to play with too, most notably the captain’s armband. The midfielder has led the team out on multiple occasions this season with regular skipper Jonny Evans suffering from injury and could be tempted with a longer stay if handed the honour on a permanent basis.
Tielemans, like the whole of the Leicester squad, started the season off-form but have markedly improved in recent weeks with the club now sitting 13th in the Premier League. The midfielder has been integral to the better run of form, scoring goal-of-the-season contenders in the wins over Wolves and Everton.
It remains to be seen what steps Tielemans will take next in his career with his current focus on representing Belgium at the World Cup. However, Arsenal fans will be worried by the latest developments with the player looking like the perfect option to improve their midfield.