Erik ten Hag comes for Mikel Arteta after transfer trick leaves managers furious

Arsenal appear to be the club Youri Tielemans has his heart set on, but if the Gunners aren’t careful he could find himself lining up in the red of Manchester United next season instead.

The Belgian international has long been regarded as one of the most technically gifted midfielders operating outside of the Premier League’s ‘big-six’ and has just one year left on his current contract with Leicester City. With that in mind, Tielemans is expected to be available at a cut-price fee.

Recent reports have claimed that Arsenal have actually had personal terms with the player agreed for some time and Tielemans is desperate to make the move to the Emirates. However, as promising as that sounds – Mikel Arteta’s side are yet to actually submit any kind of formal offer to Leicester.

The Foxes are awaiting the first bid from the Gunners, but it would appear as if Arsenal are pursuing just about every other target at the moment instead. With Gabriel Jesus recently wrapped up and secured, many expect Arteta and co. to now devote the majority of their time to signing Tielemans.

Instead, the reality looks as if the club is going to go head-to-head with United for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. Arsenal was the first to be touted with the Argentine after they submitted a bid of £30m which was swiftly rejected by the Dutch giants.

A second bid followed but met the same fate before United intervened and offered above what Arsenal had mustered up and already boast the advantage of the player having worked closely with new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag previously.

United have made gazumping other club’s offers somewhat of a habit this transfer window – it is how they signed Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord. For weeks it looked as if the Netherlands international was Lyon-bound after the French outfit submitted three official bids for the defender.

The third was actually accepted by Feyenoord, who deemed the offer of £13million plus £2m in add-ons worth their while – but that was before United’s intervention. Once the Red Devils slapped £15m plus the further £2m in add-ons on the table, Malacia was only ever heading to Old Trafford, much to the fury of the Lyon hierarchy.

Club director Vincent Ponsot insisted that signing Malacia was not worth “endangering” the entire institution. “I’m going to be very clear: the institution is always stronger than any player,” he added.

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