President Confirms Arsenal Were ‘Really Close’ To Signing £92m Liverpool Target
Vadim Vasilyev has confirmed Liverpool were interested in signing Thomas Lemar last summer but it was Arsenal who were ‘really close’ to doing a deal
The transfer window may be closed but clubs are still working hard ahead of January and next summer so we’ll bring you all the latest gossip from around the globe. Today, more on Thomas Lemar’s future….
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has confirmed Liverpool were interested in signing Thomas Lemar last summer but it was Arsenal who were ‘really close’ to doing a deal, according to the Mirror.
Lemar was once of the transfer sagas of the summer window as the 21-year-old was strongly linked with a move to the Premier League after emerging as one of the hottest young talents in Europe.
The French international provided 14 goals and 17 assists to help Monaco land the Ligue 1 title last season and that form led to interest from a whole host of clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool.
The Mirror claim Liverpool had a medical team on stand-by to travel to Paris as they tried to thrash out a deal during the closing stages of the window and Vasilyev has now confirmed the Merseysiders interest in signing the attacker.
However, the Monaco chief has revealed that it was Arsenal who almost secured a deadline day deal for Lemar but the Gunners left it too late to try and get a transfer over the line.
Arsene Wenger had identified the French youngster as the man to replace Alexis Sanchez – who was poised to join Man City – and the Mirror claim that a £92m deal was almost agreed before the proposed transfers collapsed.
It looks like Arsenal and Liverpool are set to do battle over Lemar once again as Vasilyev has suggested the player will leave Monaco next summer but has played down the idea of him moving in January.
The Monaco vice-president if quoted by the Mirror as saying:
“Liverpool were really interested. But it was Arsenal that was really close to finalising the deal. It was quite close.
“At the same time it was just too late, not enough time, to really follow up on this deal. Not all the elements of the puzzle fell in place.
“I’m very happy he stayed with us. For us, we need a player like Thomas Lemar. He’s very important to our team.
“[But] definitely next summer will be something to look at, although you know in football there are no guarantees. We had some players who were supposed to leave this summer but didn’t because of X, Y, Z.
“I think it would be fair to say Thomas will have a fair chance to exit next year. January, in football, never say never, but this is not what we’re thinking of, this is really not in our plans.
“January doesn’t seem like the right time for major changes in the team.”
It remains to be seen how serious Liverpool’s interest in Lemar is after they signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but I expect Arsenal will certainly renew their interest in the youngster.
Sanchez is still being tipped to join Man City so the Gunners are going to need to sign a top-class replacement and Lemar would be a superb addition to their squad if they could lure him to the Emirates.
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