Premier League giants Arsenal ended the summer transfer window with only two new faces arriving at the Emirates – Sead Kolasinac from Schalke and Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon.
Gunners were linked with a number of players, however, including the talented Frenchman Kylian Mbappe and his former AS Monaco teammate Thomas Lemar among others.
Speaking on the French football programme Telefoot, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his interest in the pair. And while the new PSG star Kylian Mbappe was never a realistic target for Arsenal, Lemar was the subject of no less than three bids from the north London-based club.
Gunners first tested the waters with a €50 million and went on to double the amount on transfer Deadline Day. Arsene Wenger confirmed the Thomas Lemar approach while also reaffirming his desire to come back for a player who was also linked with Liverpool.
“€100m for Lemar? Yes all true, I wanted him. He decided to stay at Monaco. We will come back for him.”, Wenger told Telefoot.
Thomas Lemar is currently available at 8/1 betting odds to join Arsenal during winter and could be considered a good value bet given the Wenger’s intense desire to bring the exciting Frenchman to London.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is seen as a big-name replacement for Alexis Sanchez, whose proposed move to Manchester City collapsed as a result of Arsenal’s failure to realise the Thomas Lemar move.
The Citizens had lodged in the second offer for Sanchez thought to be worth £55 million plus £5 million in add-ons. Arsenal were keen to accept the offer but changed their mind after receiving a negative response from AS Monaco.
“When you decide to let a player of that calibre go, you need to replace him because nobody would understand that you let the player go.”, Wenger explained.
Alexis Sanchez now remains at Arsenal with a year left on his contract which means he could leave on a free contract at the end of the season if he refuses to extend his contract with Gunners which at this point seems extremely likely.