Chelsea Challenge Arsenal And Liverpool For Lemar

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Chelsea joined the race to sign Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, 21, and are set to fight Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool for the youngster’s signature, reports the Evening Standard.

And the Blues hope they have found a secret weapon in their fight to prise the player away from the principality. Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s former technical director, joined Monaco and the club hopes that this will give them an advantage in transfer negotiations.

Lemar made it clear last summer that he would remain with the Ligue Un club for one more season as the successful 2016/17 squad was decimated. He almost left when Arsenal had a £92m bid accepted on deadline day but the midfielder decided he wanted more time to sign for the north London club.

It took Liverpool by surprise. For most of the summer, the Reds were favourites to sign Lemar all summer but decided not to pursue the deal when the bidding passed £75m.

Chelsea’s interest will cause both sides to look over their shoulder. The south-west London club can match and better anything their rivals can offer in wages. Their advantage comes in offering first-team football: signing for Chelsea doesn’t guarantee a place in the starting line-up but both Arsenal and Liverpool need Lemar.

Which will hold the bigger sway with the young France international?