The Gunners looked certain to land the mercurial France international after what would have been a club record fee was agreed. However, 22-year-old Lemar decided that the move was happening too quickly and stayed in the principality.
Manchester City are poised to contact the north London club with a £35m bid for Alexis Sanchez, 29, giving Arsenal the cash injection they need to complete Lemar’s signing. The Chilean winger was due to sign for Pep Guardiola but that collapsed when Arsenal couldn’t land the replacement.
Liverpool were reported as being favourites to win the battle for Lemar’s signature but bookmakers rate Arsenal as equally likely to complete the massive deal, with odds of 4/1 for it to happen.
Speaking to the media this week, Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim refused to rule out a sale this transfer window. “We do not typically sell players in the winter transfer window,” the Portuguese said. “But the month is long and many things could happen,” in a subtle shift in the club’s previously staunch denials that Lemar could leave.
Arsenal, in desperate need of good news, are ready to soften the blow of losing Alexis with a record-shattering deal.