Arsenal returned to Monaco with an improved bid of £45m for Thomas Lemar, 21, but found the French club’s answer remained the same: no sale. The Daily Telegraph reports that the pursuit of the talented French international is proving frustrating for the north London club,
With the transfer of Kylian Mbappe, 18, to Real Madrid seemingly into its final phase, Monaco are resolute in their determination not to sell Lemar. Already this summer, the Monegasques bade Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy adieu to the tune of £130m.
With Mbappe likely to fetch more than that in his own right, money is not an objective this summer. Indeed, with 2018 a World Cup summer, Monaco will hope Lemar has an outstanding tournament and draws in more money than Arsenal are currently offering.
Indeed, Mendy the most recent departure fetched a fee of £53m so anything to tempt the French champions need to exceed that sum. Arsenal, not poor by any stretch, took Alexandre Lacazette, 26, from Lyon for £56m to set a club record transfer fee; grabbing Lemar will set a new record for one player and summer spend.
It may also loosen the current impasse surrounding Alexis Sanchez, 28. The Chilean is heading toward the Emirates exit but finds his way blocked by Arsene Wenger’s intransigence over his sale. A ready-made replacement might change the Frenchman’s mind.