Arsenal seemed to have a deal all sewn up in July but backed away as interest in Alexis Sanchez, 28, didn’t immediately manifest in firm offers. Liverpool swooped and appeared to be Lemar’s destination of choice but talk of a £70m deal faded with a furore building around Kylian Mbappe’s future.
At the last minute, Manchester City swooped for Sanchez and Arsenal persuaded Monaco to sell Lemar for £90m. A deal was done until the player was asked if he wanted to move and he felt panicked into a decision and remained in France.
We’re now set for Round 2 as both fallen Premier League giants look to inject life into their squads. Arsenal, set to lose Sanchez but keep Mesut Özil, are believed to be Lemar’s preferred choice – in a turn-up for the books – and know £90m is the asking price.
So too do Liverpool who are likely to find their funds bolstered by the sale of Philippe Coutinho. Monaco though will seek more from the Anfield club knowing the extent of their riches.
As Barcelona are finding out the hard way, selling players for a high fee means other clubs look to exploit that good fortune. Can Arsenal nip in at a lower price or do they suffer for the good fortune of others?