Arsenal had made a play for Thomas Lemar at the summer transfer deadline but missed out on the Monaco star.

By 90Min
November 02, 2017

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has played down reports that the club could make a return for AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar or Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez, having seen a deadline day move collapse for the former in August.

The Gunners boss maintains he has a big enough squad and that the more immediate priority is keeping his current team together until the end of the campaign rather than focusing on new additions.

Wenger said, as quoted by the Standard, when asked about a deal for either Lemar or Mahrez: “No, at the moment I have told you I have a big squad and the problem for me is to keep everyone together until the end of the season.

"Do we go for the transfer market in January? I don’t know yet.”

With Alexis Sanchez seemingly destined with a move away from the Emirates last summer, it finally seemed the Chilean had finally got his wish to move to Manchester City, after Arsenal agreed a £92m fee with Monaco for the French winger.

However, after an 11th-hour U-turn, Lemar elected to stay in the South of France, with reports suggesting the 21-year-old was not prepared to make such an important decision in his career ahead of a World Cup year.

As that move fell apart, so too did Sanchez's switch to the Etihad, but now with just seven months left of both his and Mesut Ozil's Arsenal contracts, the North Londoners were expected to make another move for Lemar when the transfer window opened. For now though, that would seem unlikely. 

Meanwhile, Mahrez's seems to still covet a move away from the 2016 Premier League winners, despite Claude Puel's intentions to seduce him into staying. Marseille are the latest club to be linked with the Algerian's signature.

The Gunners can seal their spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night with victory at home to Red Star Belgrade. 

In their first venture into the second tier of European competition this term, Wenger has used Arsenal's midweek games across the continent to give his full squad the opportunity to play more regularly and the Frenchman is keen to make the point that his current crop of players, are more focused than ever.

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