Leicester City are dropping the price for Arsenal transfer target Youri Tielemans, per multiple reports. The midfielder has one-year remaining on his contract and has made it clear that he does not intend to re-sign with the Foxes. According to CBS Sports Goalazo reporter Ben Jacobs, Tielemans has agreed to “broad personal terms” with the Gunners and would sign if Leicester accept an Arsenal bid.
The question is how much will it take for the Gunners to pry him away from the King Power? Leicester reportedly wanted £35M earlier in the transfer window, but Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad reports that Leicester’s asking price could be cut in half as the transfer window ticks down. Arsenal value him somewhere in the £20-25M range, so it seems as if there is a deal to be made. As far as I can tell, Arsenal have yet to make an official bid.
All summer, my feeling has been that by the close of the transfer window, Tielemans would be a Gunner. He wants to move to North London. Arsenal want him. And Leicester City can’t really afford to let him walk for free. I think Mikel Arteta and Edu correctly recognized that they’re in a commanding negotiating position and have been playing the waiting game all summer, secure in the knowledge that they can hold off and save money without risking Tielemans heading elsewhere.
Leicester have had a strange transfer window. They haven’t signed any new players. They sold longtime keeper Kasper Schmeichel. They look set to sell Youri Tielemans and Wesley Fofana. I don’t think they’re in danger of relegation even if those guys go, but it’ll be a lost season for them. Brendan Rodgers was expecting signings this summer and hasn’t gotten any. Maybe they’re looking to reset and refresh the squad next summer with whatever funds they generate from selling Tielemans and Fofana. There’s something strange going on at the King Power.
Should a move for Tielemans fall through, Arsenal have also been linked with Sandro Tonali and Moises Caicedo as backup options. It seems as if the Gunners really are in for midfield reinforcements before the window closes with the everpresent caveat that they need to sort a few more outgoings, Nicolas Pepe and Hector Bellerin in particular, before finalizing any additional incomings. Those two moves seem to be shifting towards the “when” column as opposed to the “if” one, so I think it’s just a matter of time.
Time is running out, however. The window closes in just over a week — Thursday, September 1st at 11 pm BST.