Arsenal are reportedly closing in on a deal to bring Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans to the club in the summer transfer window.
The Belgium international sees his current terms at the King Power Stadium expire in the summer of 2023 and does not appear to be close to signing an extension with Brendan Rodgers‘s side.
Leicester would likely be forced to garner a fee for Tielemans this summer rather than risk losing him on a free next year, and multiple European clubs have been alerted to the 25-year-old’s situation.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have all been credited with an interest in Tielemans, whose preference is thought to be Real Madrid.
However, the emergence of Eduardo Camavinga and Luka Modric‘s proposed new contract could scupper the Belgian’s dream move to the Bernabeu this year.
Instead, The Sun claims that Arsenal are now the frontrunners to secure Tielemans’s signature and are edging closer to wrapping up a £40m deal for the ex-Monaco man.
The report adds that Leicester are “all but guaranteed” to part ways with Tielemans in the upcoming window, with the lynchpin rejecting offers of a new contract at the King Power.
Qualification for the Champions League is expected to significantly aid Arsenal’s pursuit of signing Tielemans, whom Mikel Arteta has supposedly identified as a key midfield target, but Real Madrid are still in the background if the Gunners drop out of the top four.
Arsenal are set for a reshuffle in the engine room this summer, with Mohamed Elneny due to leave as a free agent when his contract expires, but the Egyptian has announced his desire to stay on in North London.
Granit Xhaka‘s deal still has two years left to run, but the Switzerland captain’s long-term future is also far from certain, and the duo of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are poised to complete permanent moves to Marseille and Fiorentina respectively.
Man United saw their top-four hopes ended with a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, and as such the Red Devils have seemingly conceded defeat in the race for Tielemans.
Tielemans has registered seven goals and four assists in 45 games for Leicester in all competitions this season, but Rodgers’s side are increasingly unlikely to be able to offer the midfielder European football next season.
The Foxes suffered Europa Conference League heartache at the hands of Roma in the semi-finals and are down in 14th in the Premier League table – 10 points off the top seven with five games remaining.
Tielemans has collected the FA Cup during his time at Leicester, though – scoring the winning goal in the 2020-21 final against Chelsea in stunning fashion at Wembley.
The ex-Anderlecht man has gone on to register 24 goals and 23 assists in 154 appearances for the Foxes in all tournaments since his initial loan arrival from Monaco in January 2019.
In the wake of their European disappointment, Leicester seek to turn their Premier League fortunes around when they welcome 18th-placed Everton to the King Power Stadium on Sunday.