Brendan Rodgers told Arsenal to forget signing of Belgium No.8 midfielder

By | January 25, 2023

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is still hopeful that Arsenal-linked midfielder Youri Tielemans will commit to a new contract at the King Power Stadium.

The Belgium international is due to become a free agent at the end of the season and is free to open discussions with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement.

Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Tielemans over the summer, but the transfer window slammed shut with the 25-year-old still on the books at Leicester.

Tielemans has remained a vital player for Rodgers despite his contract situation, but Arsenal are still thought to be keeping a close eye on any developments.

It is unclear whether the Gunners intend to make a January offer or wait until the ex-Monaco man potentially becomes a free agent in the summer, but Rodgers believes that Leicester can still convince Tielemans to pen fresh terms.

“It has gone on for a while, but it’s all based around the player, ultimately. His commitment is no less now to what it was when I first came in – if not even more. He’s loved his time here and is still loving his time here,” Rodgers told a press conference.

“I respect that he’s in his last year, of course I want to tie him down. He’s been a brilliant player for this club and is still at a great age. It’s something that has to be right for all parties.

“Until I’m told he’s not here, we work very well together. He’s a coach’s dream, with his professionalism and view of the game.

“Nothing changes for me in that aspect, we just continue to hopefully find a resolution to it and have him sign here. I think it’s one where we want to do everything we can to convince him to stay.”

Newcastle United, Liverpool and Manchester United have also been tipped to swoop for Tielemans, who has recorded three goals and one assist in 18 Premier League outings this season.

The Belgian has now amassed a total of 28 goals and 25 assists in 179 games for Leicester since leaving Monaco, having joined on loan in January 2019 before making his move permanent in the summer of that year.

Arsenal are expected to move for a new midfielder at some point in 2023, but attacking reinforcements are Mikel Arteta’s main priority at the minute following injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson.

The Premier League leaders remain in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over a move for 21-year-old winger Mykhaylo Mudryk and are believed to have submitted a second offer worth around £62m after seeing their first bid rejected.

However, Shakhtar are said to be demanding at least £85m to part ways with Mudryk, who is also thought to be the subject of firm interest from Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea.

The Gunners moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United on Tuesday and now take on Oxford United in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday night.