Arsenal and Newcastle United have reportedly been dealt a transfer blow in their pursuit of soon-to-be-free-agent Youri Tielemans, with Leicester not keen on selling him in January.

According to LeicestershireLive, Premier League table-toppers Arsenal and high-flyers Newcastle United have been handed an obstacle in their efforts to sign Belgian star Youri Tielemans, with the Foxes uninterested in selling the former AS Monaco midfielder despite him running down his contract.

In what was a long-drawn summer transfer saga, Tielemans seemed destined to leave Leicester City, with numerous clubs circling around for the Belgian’s signature. The Foxes faithful had already prepared for his sour exit, with only one year left on his current deal. However, Leicester stuck to their guns and managed to keep hold of him despite heavy interest and no concrete offers on the table.

Tielemans’ contract at the King Power Stadium expires next summer, and he will be available to speak with foreign clubs from January on in order to secure a free transfer the following summer. The general consensus would be that the Foxes would cut their losses on him, and part ways midway through the season to avoid losing him for free, particularly with Arsenal and Newcastle linked.

However, the disastrous start to the season has seemingly resulted in a surprise twist, with him one of the major driving forces behind their October upturn in form that has seen them climb off the foot of the table.

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Last season, the Belgian was widely criticised for his lethargic and fatigued performances, being outperformed by the ascending Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. This season, the tables have turned for the better, and he has played 14 games out of 15 across all competitions, starting 13 of them, and the FA Cup-winning hero has even worn the captain’s armband for a good run of games in the place of injured Jonny Evans.

He has scored twice and assisted once, and his influence is clearly not lost on Brendan Rodgers, who has said that he and the club have no plans to sell their best players in the January window and still hope to persuade Tielemans to put pen to paper on a new contract at the East Midlands outfit.

This comes as a significant blow to the 25-year-old Belgian international’s suitors. Arsenal, for one, have long been admirers of the Leicester midfielder and were extensively linked with a move for him last summer in their attempt to beef up the engine room.

Nothing materialized, however, and their desperate deadline-day bid for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz suggests they are likely to be in the market for a central midfielder in January as they look to boost their ongoing title push. However, Tielemans seems no longer a viable option to look forward to.

The same goes for high-flying Newcastle United, who find themselves in the midst of a top-four battle and would be keen to strengthen even further to consolidate their current Champions League berth. For that, they were planning a double raid on Leicester City for James Maddison and Tielemans; however, they might have to realign their radar elsewhere.

That being said, a recent 90min report suggests the Foxes are keeping close tabs on Lorient’s French midfielder Enzo Le Fee as Tielemans’s replacement, with them, resigned to lose the Belgium playmaker next summer.

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