Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, who is also being targeted by Arsenal and Liverpool.
According to a report by London Evening Standard, Chelsea are interested in signing Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco in the winter transfer window. The French midfielder is also on the radars of Arsenal and Liverpool, who are plotting a January move for him as well.
Lemar is considered to be one of the most promising midfielders in the world, having shot into the limelight as part of the exciting young AS Monaco side that caught the eye of many a football watcher last season. The principality club won the Ligue 1 title, while the player boasted a haul of 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 appearances.
Since then, Lemar has also cemented his place in the France National Side and was also the subject of interest from several high profile clubs, including Arsenal, who had tabled a club record £90 million deadline day bid to sign him. But, the move did not materialise as the player remained at Stade Louis II.
The 2017-18 season has subsequently been underwhelming for the 22-year-old, with just two goals and four assists in 18 appearances so far. But, interest in Lemar hasn’t reduced, with Arsenal still in pursuit of the player, alongside fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea.
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Arsenal are set to lose the services of Alexis Sanchez, either in January or the coming summer, with his contract set to run out in six months’ time. The Chilean is unlikely to sign a new deal, and the Gunners are starting to make preparations to adequately replace him when he finally departs from the Emirates.
Liverpool, like Arsenal, are in a precarious situation, with Philippe Coutinho inching closer towards joining Barcelona. With Lemar adept at playing in midfield as well as attack, he is a viable target for the Reds, with certain reports also claiming that they are the favourites to sign him. But, Chelsea might have something to say about that.
At Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte has been vocal about the need for reinforcements in his squad. To add to his troubles, with Willian being linked with a move away from the club, the Chelsea manager’s need to bolster attack has accentuated, making Lemar an ideal target.
With Michy Batshuayi likely to leave on a short-term loan, Chelsea could perhaps even offer the Belgian striker to clinch the deal for Lemar. Arsenal, thus, will need to step up their pursuit of the 22-year-old to tip the scales in their favour.
One bone of contention for each club would be the player’s ineligibility to play in the Champions League when the Round of 16 commences next month. It now remains to be seen if any of Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea are willing to sign Lemar despite the minor problem, and if a move sees the light of the day.