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Spurs: Alex Crook delivers Youri Tielemans verdict

Tottenham Hotspur could reportedly have been handed a boost in their hopes of signing Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans…

What’s the word?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook has revealed that Spurs remain in the mix to sign the Belgian, with arch-rivals Arsenal having seen their position weaken due to their top-four failure.

Amid reports that the 25-year-old could be on his way to the Emirates Stadium, the transfer insider has revealed that, while the Gunners remain in pole position, that lack of Champions League football could come back to bite them.

Crook said: “I think Tottenham are lurking in the background as well, and I think even Leicester are willing to offer him a new contract to keep him there. So, maybe Arsenal isn’t as attractive a proposition as it was, but he was definitely in the building in January, his agent was anyway, holding talks.

“I would still make them the frontrunners, but their position has definitely been weakened by the fact that they’re not in the Champions League.”

That could put Antonio Conte and co firmly back in the race for the 51-cap international’s signature, having been linked with the playmaker in recent weeks, with any deal reportedly set to cost in the region of £25m.

“One of the best”

With just one year remaining on his current Leicester contract, it could prove to be a vital summer for the former Monaco man, with clubs unsurprisingly lining up to try and land “arguably one of the best midfielders in the Premier League”, as he has been dubbed by Emile Heskey.

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How well do you know Spurs manager Antonio Conte? Question 1. During his playing days, in which position did Conte typically operate?

Tielemans’ statistics would seemingly corroborate that claim, as even amid an up-and-down campaign for the Foxes as a whole, the £49.5m-rated man still chipped in with six goals and four assists in 32 Premier League appearances, an impressive return for a player who largely operates in a deeper midfield role.

That quality in the final third and with the ball at his feet (he also ranks in the top 12% for progressive passes for those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues) is coupled with a dogged defensive ability, with the £120k-per-week machine also averaging 2.3 tackles and 1.1 clearances per game in the top flight last term.

A silky, composed player in possession, the “special” talent – as he has been described by occasional Sky Sports analyst Statman Dave – would seemingly be able to slot straight in to Conte’s midfield, offering additional competition to a squad which is already set to be bolstered by the impending arrival of Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.

Such quality, Premier League-ready additions could help fire the Lilywhites back into contention for big prizes, both domestically and in Europe, with it hard to turn down such an immense signing for what would likely be a relative bargain price.

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Article title: Spurs: Alex Crook delivers Youri Tielemans verdict

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