Liverpool and Arsenal have been dealt a big blow with the news that Thomas Lemar would prefer a switch to Barcelona.
Liverpool and Arsenal have been dealt a big blow with the news that Thomas Lemar would prefer a switch to Barcelona, despite months of stories linking him to the Premier League clubs.
Lemar has been on the radar of both Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger for at least a year, and is the last remaining 'potential superstar' of the highly impressive 2016/17 Monaco side.
Lemar remained with the club despite late interest from both clubs on transfer deadline day last summer, with Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy all moving on.
As reported by the Mirror, Klopp and Wenger are both keen to spend big on the 22-year-old, but unfortunately for them, he would prefer to go to Barcelona, who have just shelled out £145m on Philippe Coutinho.
The interest is apparently reciprocal, and Barca would consider launching a bid to bring him to the Nou Camp - that's despite having signed Ousmane Dembele last summer.
Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim said of the situation: "Today, the market is open. You know how crazy the market is. Things happen that even a club like Monaco cannot say no to. It happened to Liverpool [with Coutinho]. Things are as they are.
"The numbers today are incredibly big. Everything can change. The things I can say today are not true tomorrow. In the last two transfer windows, last summer and this winter, the numbers have gone up enormously. I still want to keep Lemar.
"If I stay here for 10 years I want Lemar to stay with me for 10 years. He is young, he can still play for 10 years. He has a lot of qualities, I like him a lot."
With just 10 days of the transfer window left, a lot of eyes will be on Lemar to see if he pushes for that Barca move, or if money will talk and either Arsenal or Liverpool swoop. The Gunners need a replacement for Alexis Sanchez and have reportedly bid for the Frenchman already this window.