Leicester signs Tielemans, West Ham sells Arnautovic
LONDON (AP) — Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans moved to Leicester on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell last season, while West Ham announced the sale of Marko Arnautovic to Chinese champion Shanghai SIPG in a terse, two-line statement on Monday.
Tielemans arrives at Leicester from Monaco for a reported club-record fee of 40 million pounds ($50 million), with the English Premier League club saying he is “widely considered to be one of the most exciting young talents in European football.”
The 22-year-old Tielemans, who impressed when spending the second half of last season on loan at King Power Stadium, joined a few days after Spanish forward Ayoze Perez moved to Leicester for 30 million pounds.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for this football club,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said, “and to be able to bring players of Youri’s quality here is an indication of the hunger for success we have here.”
Exciting times for Leicester but perhaps worrying ones for West Ham, with Arnautovic the team’s most talented player when on form.
The value of his move was not disclosed in a statement from West Ham that offered no thanks for the Austria forward’s 22 goals in two seasons.
The club’s Twitter account message was even shorter: ”Marko Arnautovic departs .” British media reported the transfer fee was around 22 million pounds ($27.6 million).
Relations between West Ham and Arnautovic have been tense since he sought a move to China in January, and got worse this offseason.
Arnautovic leaves despite signing a contract extension in late January.
The 30-year-old forward was a club record 20 million pounds ($25 million) signing from Stoke in 2017.
At Shanghai, Arnautovic will join up in attack with former Brazil internationals Hulk and Oscar.
One of Arnautovic’s former Stoke teammates, defender Erik Pieters, returned to the Premier League by joining Burnley on Monday.
Burnley said the 30-year-old Netherlands international signed a two-year deal. The fee was not disclosed.