Arsenal’s €35m bid for Thomas Lemar has reportedly been rejected by Ligue 1 champions Monaco.
The French club was insistent that the French international was not for sale despite indications that Lemar, 21, is keen to work under Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal. He moved to Monaco from Caen in 2015 and is under contract until 2020, although the club is said to be happy to grant him new and improved terms.
The Monaco vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, who is fighting to keep a clutch of his stars, has told Arsenal they cannot have Lemar and that the stance is non-negotiable, but whether the London club accept that remains to be seen.
Lemar’s move holds a certain amount of importance for the Gunners as the club struggles to retain their star player, Alexis Sanchez, who is wanted by Manchester City among other clubs, and he has targeted Lemar as one possible solution.
Like Sanchez, Lemar enjoys playing on the left flank – the position Sanchez has occupied regularly, and had shown great form last season when he helped Monaco to win the Ligue 1 title and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
On the other hand, this was also not the first case in this summer transfer window whereby a bid from Wenger and Arsenal was rejected. Although the Frenchman was able to left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke, he also saw a £44m bid for the Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette rejected.
Another target of the club, Ryan Sessegnon, will be remaining at Championship club Fulham as his team makes a push for promotion next season. The 17-year-old also feels that he owes a debt to Fulham, where he has progressed through the academy, and he will stay with them for the forthcoming season, at least.