Arsenal have been handed a major blow in their efforts to sign Youri Tielemans, despite Mikel Arteta being eager to oversee another busy summer. The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners’ business elsewhere in the window looks to have played a role in the Leicester City midfielder choosing to reconsider his short-term options.
Following Porto’s confirmation that the north London outfit have have reached an agreement for the transfer of Fabio Vieira on a permanent deal, Mikel Arteta’s side have ‘cooled’ their interest in Tielemans, according to Sky Sports. The report claims that it’s become increasingly likely that the Belgium international now signs a one-year contract extension at the King Power Stadium, with his current deal set to expire in 12 months.
Arsenal have long been admirers of Tielemans, but with the Gunners having agreed a £34m deal for Porto star Vieira, that interest has waned. Whether or not Edu navigates another move for the Belgian is yet to be seen, though it’s believed that the north Londoners will only sign one central midfielder in this window, and their preference is the Portuguese technician.
Sky Sports add that Brendan Rodgers’ side have no intention of losing Tielemans on a free and the Foxes are confident that, if a move away this summer fails to materialise, the midfielder will pen another year-long deal. Though, of course, there is no certainty regarding the Belgian’s future and he could very easily miss the boat – especially with Arsenal keen to make several A-list signings.
When asked if he expects another busy transfer window in terms of player recruitment, Arteta said: “I am expecting so, yes. I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad because the amount of games you play is much bigger in both, so I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a lot of difference or changes a lot.
“If you can financially afford it and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to do, if you ask me what I want it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. You have to come a long way in the aspects that you see on the pitch, it’s a lot of things that have to be put in place, and that takes time.”