Arsenal Boosted in Pursuit of Summer Target as Monaco Eye Deal for Direct Replacement
One of the summer transfer window's biggest stories could be about to take centre-stage. It is believed Arsenal may now stand a good chance of signing AS Monaco star, Thomas Lemar - a player they have expressed interest in throughout the summer.
The French star's club have so far been reluctant to sell, rejecting bids of €40m and €45m from the Gunners. However, per L'Equipe, the Ligue 1 club now appear ready to at least consider moving Lemar on.
In their report, L'Equipe state that Monaco are currently in talks with former Lyon winger, Rachid Ghezzal. Should the move go forward, Ghezzal would likely serve as a replacement for Lemar - given that both players occupy a position out wide.
Last season, Lemar starred on a highly impressive Monaco side who caused a huge upset by taking the Ligue 1 title over their richer and more established rivals, PSG. For his part, Lemar scored nine goals, and had 11 assists in 34 league appearances. Yet he also impressed at the European level, having 5 assists in the Champions League.
Arsenal have been chasing the 21-year old throughout the summer, but this is the first indication that Monaco may be willing to move him. The Gunners are rumoured to be preparing another bid worth €60m, per the Daily Mirror.
However, it is far too early for Arsene Wenger to get out the champagne. Signing Ghezzel may not signal anything regarding Lemar's future at all, per Telefoot's Julien Maynard:
Malgré arrivée imminente de Rachid Ghezzal et forcing d'Arsenal (qui pourrait proposer près de 60M€), Monaco ne veut pas vendre Thomas Lemar— Julien Maynard (@JulienMaynard) August 4, 2017
If Lemar does leave the club, he would not be the first to depart from the Ligue 1 champions his summer.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, and Bernado Silva have already left the club, and star forward Kylian Mbappe could still depart to La Liga in the near future. However as of now, Lemar appears to be staying put.