Why Arsenal or Manchester United transfer would be ‘maximum risk’ for Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans would take a “maximum risk” to leave Leicester City this summer, says former Belgian international Philippe Albert.

Tielemans’ future has been one of the hot topics at City, with the midfielder pondering his options and yet to sign a new contract at the King Power Stadium, which has been more than a year in the making.

Arsenal and Manchester United are among the parties associated with him, and a decision is likely to be needed this summer, when he enters the final 12 months of his contract with City.

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The club don’t want to lose him for nothing and would prefer to sign a new contract or be sold, although Tielemans has recently hinted that he could stay at the club for another year and then consider his next move in 2023, when he would be a free agent.

As for his chances for Belgium, former Newcastle defender Albert thinks Tielemans might be better off staying. Getting used to a new club only a few months before a World Cup could hurt his chances of making the base for Roberto Martinez, he said.

Tielemans became captain this week for friendlies against Ireland and Burkina Faso, but only after the players with more than 50 caps were left out. And pundits in Belgium believe he was surpassed by his midfield partner, Club Brugge’s Hans Vanaken.

“Last year Youri had a much better season than now,” Albert wrote for the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. “And then, oddly enough, nobody moved too much to buy off his contract.

“This time he has had a big setback, as we saw again in Ireland and against Burkina Faso, but Arsenal and Manchester United are suddenly out of the woods.

“It is of course a nice compliment, but I wonder if, in the context of a summer market that will resemble the winter market, with only three months left before the World Cup, a transfer to a prestigious club would be appropriate.

“In any case, it would be maximum risk in a context where the Vanaken threat could become more apparent in the national team. Just wait, as the English say.”

Tielemans played 90 minutes in both matches for Belgium, with the world number one in Dublin drawing 2-2 with Ireland before beating Burkina Faso 3-0 on Tuesday night.

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