AS Monaco sold Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy in the summer transfer window, while Kylian Mbappe signed for Paris Saint-Germain on loan, but they did manage to keep hold of Thomas Lemar.
That is despite a ferocious deadline day back-and-forth between Liverpool and Arsenal for the 21-year-old.
Arsene Wenger confirmed today that the Gunners made a bid of €100 million for Lemar and it was originally reported that Arsenal pulled out because they didn’t believe there was enough time in the day to complete the deal.
But Wenger has denied that, instead claiming the Frenchman wanted to stay at the Stade Louis II.
“Yes, we bid €100m for Lemar but the player wanted to stay in Monaco,” Wenger told Telefoot, per Sky Sports.
“Yes, we’ll come back in for him.”
THE CLUB LEMAR WOULD PREFER TO SIGN FOR IN 2018
The Gunners will likely face competition from Liverpool, despite the Reds’ capture of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a number of clubs across Europe should Lemar have another impressive season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected Arsenal’s offer of £180,000-per-week to sign for Liverpool and the north London club could lose out again next summer, with Jonathan Northcroft of The Times claiming that Lemar prefers a move to Liverpool.
BUT THERE’S A PROBLEM
However, Northcroft points out that Lemar could be too expensive for Liverpool in 2018.
Thomas Lemar is said to be more interested in going to Liverpool next summer, according to @JNorthcroft
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) September 3, 2017
Problem: he might be too expensive for Liverpool by then. Expect Arsenal (and others) to rival them https://t.co/6g6oH70GD4
— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) September 3, 2017
Of course, the Reds will have some money to spend if they decide to sell Philippe Coutinho next summer, but the club’s fans will expect plenty of that to go towards bolstering the defence.
It must delight Liverpool supporters to know that players are beginning to see the development that is happening at Anfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected a move to Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, in order to work with Jurgen Klopp.
And Liverpool would send a clear message to their rivals if they could sign Lemar next summer.
The winger insisted he was prepared to work hard for Monaco this season after scoring twice for France in their 4-0 victory over the Netherlands on Thursday.
“I am a player of Monaco, I am very happy there,” Lemar told Canal+, per the Telegraph.
“Now I’m going to make a good season with my club, to try to progress and move forward in my career with Monaco.
“I prepared for this game as usual. I do not lose my head, even if there are rumours. I was focused on my game, that’s all that mattered to me.”