It appears a previous target of Arsenal’s is now close to completing a move to Aston Villa to join up with manager, Unai Emery.
If you cast your mind back to Arsenal’s game against Leicester City at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. The Gunners ran out 4-2 winners that day with Gabriel Jesus at the double, however that isn’t the moment in the game which will be remembered the most. As Youri Tielemans got substituted the Arsenal fans started signing to him “We’ll see you next week”…
That’s how close Arsenal were to signing the Belgian last summer. Mikel Arteta wanted him, however with only one year left on his contract the Gunners didn’t want to overpay and therefore chose against signing the 25-year-old.
The situation is different this summer as Youri Tielemans refused to sign a contract extension at the King Power with the player now a free agent heading into the summer window. However it’s currently unknown whether Arsenal’s interest remains but from the reports today it looks like the player is heading elsewhere.
According to David Ornstein, Youri Tielemans has agreed a deal to join Aston Villa this summer with a medical set to happen shortly before finalising the move. There was plenty of competition from around Europe for the Belgian international but it appears Aston Villa have won the race to sign the 26-year-old.
🚨 EXCL: Aston Villa have agreed a deal to sign Youri Tielemans. Doing medical before finalising contract. 26yo midfielder set to join as free agent after Leicester deal expired. #AVFC overcame plenty of competition for Belgium international @TheAthleticFC https://t.co/icWVeVNvqg
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 10, 2023
Unai Emery is a big fan of Youri Tielemans which is why he made him his number one midfield target for Aston Villa this summer. Villa are signing a player who is just about to enter his prime years at 26-years-old with tons of Premier League experience behind him – it looks to be a great signing from the former Arsenal boss.
Arsenal have other priorities right now, with a move for West Ham’s captain Declan Rice being pursued so a move for Youri Tielemans didn’t ever seem part of the plan for Arsenal at the beginning of the summer transfer window.
Arsenal want to bring in two new central midfielders this summer with, as previously mentioned, Declan Rice the number one target. With Granit Xhaka set to join Bayer Leverkusen, Mikel Arteta will need to replace the Swiss midfielder ahead of next season and there’s many players being linked with Arsenal as it stands.
Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan is one option, as well as Mason Mount, Moises Caicedo and Leicester City teammate James Maddion.