Barcelona have reportedly stopped trying to get Youri Tielemans to sign for them as the Spaniards believe he has agreed to sign for Arsenal.
Almost two weeks ago it was claimed that Youri Tielemans has his heart set on a move to Arsenal.
The Leicester defender, as you know, is out of contract in the summer, so the January window represents the last chance for the Foxes to claw back some of the £35-40m they paid for him in 2019 to take him from Monaco.
A number of clubs have been trying to attract his signature, including Barcelona, but it seems that Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have convinced the 25-year-old midfielder his future lies in North London.
Marca write, “Finding a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets is one of Barcelona’s most urgent transfer priorities.
“One possible replacement that has been mentioned is Youri Tielemans of Leicester City and Belgium.
“The 25-year-old is a natural defensive midfielder, but can operate in a number of central roles, including as an attacking midfielder.
“Crucially for Barcelona, Tielemans’ contract situation is also favourable from their point of view, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.
“With a potential market value of 40 million euros, snapping him up on a free would be excellent business.
“However, the problem appears to be that he may not be as available as Barcelona hoped. The Catalan club have noticed that he isn’t jumping at the prospect of a move to the Camp Nou and suspect he may already have given his word to another team.”
Sport in France then build on this to say, “While Arsenal are in first place in the Premier League with a few points ahead of Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s men are still looking to strengthen themselves, especially in midfield. Leicester could lose their crack Youri Tielemans (25) who has already reached an agreement with the Gunners.
“While he has just played the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Belgium is eliminated and the star of Leicester may not play many games with the Foxes.
“Indeed, next January Arsenal should go on the attack and could have a chance to nab the Belgian midfielder for a few million euros. Indeed, this information comes from Marca, which indicates that FC Barcelona has stopped all steps to obtain the player, as he is committed to the cause of the Premier League leaders.”
It does look likely that Tielemans will end up as an Arsenal player, although it is not clear if that will happen in January or the summer.
With Arsenal looking to strengthen three positions in January, one of which is in midfield, that would seem a safe bet, barring any last minute problems.