Journalist Ben Jacobs has said that Arsenal will try and sign Youri Tielemans if they miss out on Moises Caicedo, but a summer freebie remains their preference.

Arsenal are battling it out to try and sign Caicedo before tomorrow’s deadline. They’ve failed with two big bids so far and it remains to be seen if a third bid – worth more than £70m – will be enough.

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Should Arsenal miss out, others will be considered. But speaking to CaughtOffside, Ben Jacobs believes any move for Tielemans will depend on others making their move.

“The challenge now is Leicester, because even though you’d think, with the player not wanting to sign a new contract, that getting money for him now is better than him leaving on a free transfer in the summer, Leicester see Tielemans staying until the end of the season as more valuable than cashing in now for a relatively small amount. If Tielemans is the difference between Leicester staying up or going down, then there could be more value in keeping him now and then losing him on a free,” Jacobs said.

“I think Arsenal’s preference, if they do decide to target Tielemans, would still be to get him on a free in the summer if they can, and they’ll only change that approach if other clubs try to jump in ahead of them in the final hours of the transfer window.”

TBR’s View: Tielemans could be a necessity for Arsenal

While it does make sense for Arsenal to wait and get Tielemans for free, they do need someone in now.

They are so close to winning the title that a failure to add such a player could cost them. Tielemans would love to come to Arsenal, everyone knows it. But whether Arsenal will cough up any money now remains to be seen.

In the end, though, it could be a case of needs must. They’ve clearly got money to spend. So if it means parting ways with around £20m or so to land a player like Tielemans, then they might have to just do it.

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