Arsenal to battle European giants for rising star
Arsenal are set to reignite their interest in Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, but will face competition from both Barcelona and Liverpool for the Frenchman’s signature, per The Mirror.
After a summer of frustration in their pursuit of the playmaker, the Gunners are keen to tie up a deal. Arsene Wenger was keen to sign both Lemar and Kylian Mbappe, two players who helped his former club reach the semi finals of the Champions League and win the Ligue 1 title. Separate bids of £30million and £45million were reportedly rejected for Lemar, while Mbappe eventually signed for PSG on an initial loan deal.
But the twist with Lemar came on transfer deadline day when, flustered by panic at the prospect of losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City in a £60million deal, they offered £92million. Monaco accepted, but Lemar turned down the offer as he was on international duty at the time and did not have enough time to talk it over with his family.
That led Wenger to pull the plug on the Sanchez deal and although the Chilean has got his head down and worked hard for the team this season, it is believed je still wants to rejoin his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at City. With his contract running out at the end of the season, Arsenal are becoming increasingly powerless when it comes to Sanchez’s future and will look to Lemar once again as the contingency plan.
But with Barcelona still looking for another player to replace Neymar and Liverpool also keen, they could have a battle on their hands if they are to sign him. The Blaugrana signed his France teammate Ousemane Dembele in the summer but a serious hamstring injury has ruled him out for a number of months, meaning Ernesto Valverde could enter into negotiations with Monaco as early as January.
Another thing that could make this deal problematic is if they do not offer the same fee as in the summer. Monaco may refuse to budge on the agreed £90million, but with their league and Champions League campaigns both drastically falling below expectations, this season, Lemar may well push for a quick departure from the Stade Louis II.
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