Arsenal step-up interest in £80m Sanchez replacement

By on October 31, 2017

Arsenal have continued our pursuit of Thomas Lemar with Football.London reporting that Gunners scouts were in the stands to watch him in action at the weekend.

Lemar was our big transfer saga of the summer as we were strongly linked with the French international for several months after Arsene Wenger identified him as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

Our Chilean super-star was close to joining Manchester City during the closing days of the window but we wouldn’t let him leave unless a replacement was signed, and Lemar was the man Wenger wanted.

The big-money deals were understood to be extremely close to being pushed through on deadline day but everything collapsed and the two players involved ended up staying where they were.

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev confirmed earlier this month that Lemar was indeed close to joining Arsenal and suggested that a move could be revived at the end of the season.

Vasilyev is quoted as saying by the Mirror:

“Liverpool were really interested [in Lemar]. 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 looks like Wenger has continued to monitor the 21-year-old as Football London claim Arsenal scouts watched Lemar score a superb solo goal during Monaco’s 2-0 win at Bordeaux on Saturday.

With Sanchez’s contract running down and Man City still lurking, I think it’s safe to say we’ll renew our interest in Lemar but any potential deal isn’t going to come cheap as Football London suggest Monaco want around £80m.

We were reportedly ready to pay that kind of money in the summer so it shouldn’t be a problem at the end of the season – although losing Sanchez [and possibly Ozil] for nothing could have a detrimental affect on our budget.

Let’s see how things develop over the course of the season but I’d love to see Lemar replace Sanchez as I think he’d be a sensational signing for Arsenal.

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