ESPN reporter Julien Laurens has claimed that the futures of Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Arsenal star Alex Sanchez are intertwined, and that the Gunners are unlikely to have both players at the club come the end of the transfer window.
Laurens believes that both players won't fit into a formation that also contains Mesut Ozil and a striker, and as a result, Arsenal will only try to get a deal for Lemar finalised if Sanchez does eventually leave the club.
“I am still struggling to see them signing Lemar if Alexis stays,” Laurens told ESPN FC. “He will cost them a lot of money if Monaco want to sell them. I don’t think you can play Ozil, Alexis and Lemar as well as a striker.”
Sanchez only has 12 months remaining on his contract and, as yet, has refused to put pen to paper on an extension. Manchester City, Bayern Munich and PSG have all been strongly linked in what has been one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the summer.
It is hard to argue with Laurens' logic, as Arsenal are unlikely to want to fork out what could be another club-record fee for a player who may not necessarily make the starting line-up if Sanchez stays on for at least one more season.
Arsene Wenger reaped the rewards of changing his side's formation in the latter part of the season to a 3-4-3 with two players operating off the main striker - the tactical change resulted in a strong finish to the season, culminating in an FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.
How the Frenchman would fit Sanchez, Ozil and Lemar behind the focal point in attack isn't clear at all - suggesting that Laurens could be correct.