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Youri Tielemans makes final Leicester decision as Arsenal prepare to battle for midfield transfer

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Youri Tielemans will leave Leicester City this summer with the midfielder a target for Arsenal ahead of the transfer window opening. But they are not alone in their pursuit and will have to fend off competition from more than one rival to secure his signature.

Mikel Arteta helped secure Arsenal’s return to European football last season, with a summer spending spree launching them to a fifth-place finish. Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu all played big parts in the campaign and supporters will be hoping to see a similarly effective window again.

Improving strength in depth will be the priority at the Emirates this summer, with midfield unsurprisingly a focal point. While Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey formed a solid unit last term, beyond the duo there was little in the way of quality or experience. It is a factor Arteta is all too aware of.

“The Champions League and the Europa League both require a much larger squad because the amount of games is much bigger,” he said back in April. “If we can afford it financially and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to, what I want is 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers.

“A lot of things have to be put in place and that takes time, so I am expecting a busy summer.”

Tielemans has been a central part of the success enjoyed by Brendan Rodgers at the King Power Stadium. Signed permanently from Monaco in the summer of 2019, the 25-year-old made 50 appearances in all competitions last season and scored the winner in the 2021 FA Cup final against Chelsea.

But he appears to have his eyes set on a more prominent role. Transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano reported on Tuesday that the Belgian will leave Leicester this summer with Arsenal remaining a part of the chase. But they are not alone, with two other unnamed sides also chasing Tielemans.

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