Where would Tielemans fit in at Man Utd, Barcelona or Real Madrid?

Martin Macdonald
Why Arsenal should try and sign Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans

Leicester City's star midfielder Youri Tielemans might be set for a move away from the King Power next summer after being linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Daily Mail reports that the Belgian will emerge as a transfer target for all three of these clubs in 2022 following the conclusion of the current campaign.

Tielemans has been hugely impressive since his move to Leicester, initially on loan and then on a permanent basis from Monaco for £32 million.

His goal contributions have steadily increased in his time at the club, and last season was his most productive so far in England as he scored nine goals and recorded six assists from central midfield - a healthy return indeed.

Tielemans' best characteristic is probably his ability to run with the ball and turn defence into attack via bursts into and beyond midfield, but his reading of the game is also superb, averaging 2.3 tackles per game and 1.3 interceptions so far in 2021/22.

He remains a key part of Brendan Rodgers' side and has been instrumental in Leicester establishing themselves as a real force in the division in recent years.

At the end of last season, he won the FA Cup for the Foxes with a spectacular effort into the top corner versus Chelsea.

Out of the destinations mentioned above, where would he fit it best?

Manchester United

The most likely destination for Tielemans is Manchester United, as he would present an ideal replacement for Paul Pogba should the World Cup winner leave Old Trafford at the expiration of his contract in 2022.

Though Pogba is probably more of a creative player, Tielemans is excellent at that too and would also provide more of a defensive shield due to his reading of the play.

Even with Pogba at the club, though, Man Utd are crying out for another central midfielder as in addition to him, the roster of Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek isn't really of the standard required to win the Premier League, with the exception perhaps of the Scotsman who has impressed.

Tielemans should become a target for Man Utd regardless if Pogba stays or goes as his energy and positioning could actually provide the perfect foil for the Frenchman's tendency to drift out of position.

Barcelona

Barcelona will continue to be linked with players even with their current financial state which has left them €1.3 billion in debt.

Until the Blaugrana sort out their finances, they won't be signing anyone for big money, and that is what Leicester will command for Tielemans. As, after, they held out for £80m when Man Utd wanted Harry Maguire.

If they do become healthier financially then Tielemans would represent a superb addition for the club, very much in the mould of Georginio Wijnaldum whom Barcelona were desperate to sign this summer before he chose Paris Saint-Germain instead.

The Blaugrana's team has been ravaged by the need to cut costs which is why Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann have left, leaving the starting XI a shell of its former self.

A midfield trio of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Tielemans would certainly help make them formidable again.

Real Madrid

Tielemans' future may be heavily dependent on the future of Pogba.

If Pogba decides to leave it is likely Man Utd will target Tielemans, but if Pogba stays, then he could be an alternative for Real Madrid, who also want to sign the former Juventus man.

Los Blancos have already started building their future midfield this summer with the acquisition of Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes, but with Luka Modric turning 36 and with Toni Kroos not getting any younger either, more reinforcements will be required.

Pogba will be targeted for a free transfer, and Tielemans would be the second choice for Madrid.