Thomas Lemar will not be joining Arsenal in this transfer window, according to Monaco’s Vice-President Vadim Vasilyev.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been chasing the French midfielder for some time. It was reported earlier this month that personal terms had been agreed, despite Monaco rejecting at least two transfer offers.
It has been reported recently by several media outlets, including The Sun, that Monaco had finally accepted a bid believed to be around £45 million. However, The Express reports the player will not be going anywhere any time soon.
Vasilyev is quoted as saying:
“We have kept all of the key players that we intended to keep. I will address speculation relating to the case of (Thomas) Lemar.
“He is staying with us. He is an immense talent and is essential for the team.”
The report says there’s more to follow on this story but, if true, it would be a bitter blow to Wenger’s plans.
Having signed a new contract, despite calls for his resignation, Wenger knows he must deliver success. Part of that success is signing quality players, and Lemar is definitely full of quality.
The 21-year-old can play anywhere across the midfield, can play with both feet, and his passing is exceptional. He can also score goals, netting 14 times in all competitions last season.
A versatile midfielder, Lemar started his career at Caen before moving to Monaco in 2015. He played a huge part in helping his side win the Ligue 1 title last season, and also earned a first senior international cap for France.
Former Arsenal and France star Robert Pires is a big fan of Lemar, recently saying:
“For me, Thomas Lemar is one of the best French players there is.
“He can play on the left, he can play on the right, he can score goals and he can make assists.
“Lemar is the kind of player who can make a difference.
“He has the right profile to play for Arsenal, definitely.
“I hope for him and for Arsenal that it happens.”
Wenger was keen to make Lemar his third summer signing, having already added Saed Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette to his squad.
However, it seems his plans may at least be put on hold for now.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena
Check out this week’s episode of The Mixer, Pundit Arena’s Irish football podcast where we spoke to Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor ahead of their move to Preston North End.