Arsenal are reportedly set to face serious competition from European giants Barcelona if they choose to resurrect interest in Monaco talent Thomas Lemar in the coming months, with Camp Nou a potentially more attractive option for the Frenchman.
Arsenal ran out of time to complete a deal for Lemar worth up to £90m on transfer deadline day in August, resulting in the Gunners pulling the plug on Alexis Sanchez's proposed £60m move to Manchester City, much to their rival's annoyance.
With City expected to land Sanchez, who will be out of contract at the end of June, one way or another in January or summer, Arsenal will have to be in the market for a replacement.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Lemar remain a 'priority target' for the club. However, it is equally noted that Barcelona are also taking an interest and the newspaper notes that an offer from Camp Nou might 'prove difficult to resist' for the coveted 21-year-old.
Liverpool were another club interested in Lemar in August, with officials alleged to have met with representatives in the closing days of the summer transfer window.
It could be that the apparent interest from both Barcelona and Liverpool hinges on Philippe Coutinho and it is therefore more likely that only one or the other, if either, will actually make a formal approach for Lemar to rival Arsenal.
The Reds were heavily linked with Lemar when it looked as though Coutinho would be heading to Catalunya, with the diminutive Monaco play-maker lined up as a potential replacement.
The fact that Coutinho stayed meant there was no need for Lemar on Merseyside and it would continue that way if the club once more holds onto their Brazilian.
Similarly, Barça's interest in Lemar is likely to be as an alternative to Coutinho if they continue to prove unsuccessful in their efforts to prise him away from Liverpool. The club almost certainly wouldn't have the money to buy both, especially with serious rumoured interest in a €100m deal for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann as well.