Arsenal report: Gunners to wait out January in hope of Youri Tielemans free transfer

Youri Tielemans celebrates with team-mates after Leicester's 2-0 win at Everton.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal face an anxious January transfer window after reportedly deciding to play the waiting game for Youri Tielemans to try and sign the Leicester City man for free.

The Belgium international is in the final year of his contract at the King Power Stadium and was linked with a move to the Emirates over the summer.

Arsenal decided against forking out a large fee for a player who could be available on a free transfer in a year’s time, and football.london (opens in new tab) reports that they are continuing that stance.

The January transfer window could provide an uncomfortable wait, though, as other teams could jump in with bids to sign the midfielder on a cut-price fee, with Manchester United and Newcastle among the clubs previously linked.

Arsenal refused to pay the £32m that Leicester demanded for Tielemans last summer and now hope to get the 25-year-old for nothing.

But they are unable to seal a pre-contract in January, as league rules dictate that Premier League players can only agree terms with domestic rivals one month before their current deal is due to expire – May 2023, in Tielemans’ case.

The central midfielder has made 15 Premier League appearances for the Foxes this season, scoring three goals.

He has been with the Foxes since joining from Monaco in 2019 and was part of the Belgium squad that flopped at the World Cup.

Tielemans started in the opening 1-0 win over Canada before making substitute appearances in the defeat to Morocco and draw with Croatia, as the Red Devils were eliminated at the group stage.

More Arsenal stories

Reports suggest Arsenal are now at the front of the queue for Joao Felix (opens in new tab), who could leave Atletico Madrid in January.

The Gunners, Chelsea and Liverpool (opens in new tab) have all been strongly linked with Yunus Musah, who impressed for the USA at World Cup 2022.

Barcelona are said to be keeping tabs on Gabriel Martinelli (opens in new tab), who will enter the final year of his contract at the end of the season.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.