Arsenal’s long-term interest in Youri Tielemans is fading as they set about establishing themselves as a force again in European football.
The Leicester City midfield player is set to move on a free transfer as his contract expires at the end of this season and options are beginning to open up, with Barcelona credited with an interest in his situation.
Will Arsenal make an offer for Youri Tielemans?
It is thought the player would like to stay in the Premier League but his main objective is Champions League football. Arsenal will be able to offer both next term yet are now having to determine whether he still fits their project – and it is being signalled by sources around Emirates Stadium that an offer to him seems unlikely.
At the moment when Arsenal first began seriously pursuing Tielemans last year they were considered to be in the early stages of growth under Mikel Arteta – but were put off by a £30million valuation.
The Gunners have experienced a stunning rise this season though and after then deciding against signing him in January for a cut-price fee, they must now consider whether to go for him at all.
Full background checks of the player have already been observed and there are good references in terms of his character and suitability. Yet as they contemplate how to keep the team moving forwards there needs to be a final decision on whether he can elevate them in terms of European standing.
The current feeling is that the club will probably look elsewhere for midfield reinforcements, despite the finances attached.
What other midfielders could Arsenal target in the summer?
The Gunners are ready to go all-out for Declan Rice of West Ham United in the summer but also retain an interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and Manuel Locatelli of Juventus among others.
The Gunners signed Jorginho from Chelsea in January and are five points clear at the top of the Premier League. They aim to build on this magnificent campaign by strengthening further to ensure they are well prepared to fight again in the English top-flight next season while also competing in the Champions League.
Tielemans, 25, is considered one of the most attractive free agent options in Europe ahead of this summer and if Arsenal are willing to let the moment pass by then it may open the door for Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham to consider him more seriously.
Barca have had an eye on the £120k-a-week earning Tielemans (as per Salary Sport) over the past year and are attracted by his availability at a time when their financial situation is uncertain.
Belgium international Tielemans moved to Leicester in 2019 from Monaco and has made 187 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 28 times and weighing in with 25 assists.