Arsenal were shocked by the wage demands of Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans with a summer transfer now more likely, according to reports.
The Gunners are currently eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table with Pep Guardiola’s side playing their game in hand against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight.
That lead after 17 matches will see Arsenal explore the transfer market in search of reinforcements with the Gunners already bidding for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk.
Belgium international Tielemans has been linked with a move to Arsenal many times over the past 12 months with his contract expiring at the end of June.
Some reports claimed Arsenal were bidding for Tielemans in the summer transfer window, while others insisted they were interested but had not made a concrete offer for the 25-year-old.
And now the Daily Telegraph insist that Arsenal were interested in Tielemans over the summer but his huge wage demands put them off and now a move next summer is more likely than this month.
‘Arsenal considered making an offer last summer, with Mikel Arteta the driving force, but ultimately nothing happened. Wage demands were said to be high so Arsenal never opened negotiations with Leicester over a possible fee. Though Arsenal still retain an interest, it seems far more likely that they will move in the summer when he costs nothing.
‘The World Cup in Qatar offered Tielemans an opportunity to put himself in the shop window, but it was not taken.’
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has urged the Gunners to be “active” in the transfer window and recently listed two alternatives to Tielemans.
“They need to be active,” Petit told Mega Casino towards the end of December. “I said a couple of months ago in the English press that there were two or three forwards I think would be phenomenal at Arsenal.
” [Allan] St. Maximin, maybe [Wilfried] Zaha and the young guy from Dortmund who played a handful of minutes at the World Cup for Germany, [Youssoufa] Moukoko, who has been linked with Chelsea recently.
“If we’re talking about midfielders for Arsenal, I know the links are there with Tielemans at Leicester, who I think is a good player but I’m not sure he is what Arsenal needs. I’m a big fan of two players from Brighton: Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.
“Mac Allister, I said this last season before he won the World Cup, he is a guy that does everything in the midfield. He sets the tempo, carries the ball. Technically, he is very good. He scores goals.
“The guy that sits next to him at Brighton, Caicedo, he is excellent. If Arsenal could take both of those players, two guys who know each other, they would fit perfectly at the club. They would do everything that Arteta wants in midfield. Both of them are young and could form a partnership for years.
“Mac Allister has just won the World Cup. He won the Copa America last year. In terms of his experience and maturity, he played almost every single game at the World Cup and he played really well. He is at Brighton! What are Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City doing? Come on! He plays brilliant football.”
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