Arsenal and Liverpool have received a major blow in pursuit of Thomas Lemar, with AS Monaco refusing to sell the player in January.
Leonardo Jardim, as reported by The Sun, has shut down all speculation surrounding the future of Thomas Lemar, dealing a huge blow to Arsenal and Liverpool in the process. The AS Monaco manager has claimed that the principality club will not let any of their major players to leave in January.
Lemar became a household in Europe and beyond, after contributing heavily in AS Monaco’s shock Ligue 1 title triumph last season. As the principality club clinched the league title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, the player boasted an impressive return of 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 appearances.
Needless to say, like many of his teammates, Lemar became a highly sought-after player in the transfer market in the summer, with Arsenal the last club that attempted to sign him, making a £90 million deadline day bid, although any exit from Stade Louis II failed to materialise.
Since the failed move, Lemar has struggled to hit the heights of last season, with just two goals and four assists in 18 outings so far. But, that does not seem to have dampened those in pursuit of the France international, with Arsenal and Liverpool among those who are interested in the player.
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim on Lemar: “Monaco are not in the habit of making big sales in the winter. It’s our strategy. The players understand and they know how it goes here.” pic.twitter.com/AYYiclCeAX
— Tifo Football (@TifoFootball_) January 5, 2018
Arsenal are preparing for life after Alexis Sanchez, whose current deal has just six months remaining, with chances of a renewal being negligible. Arsene Wenger has, this week, remarked that the Gunners don’t fear losing the Chilean, and can replace him with world class players. And they reportedly intend on making Lemar that player.
Liverpool, too, have been following the progress of the 22-year-old for a long time now, and are in the market for a midfielder as Philippe Coutinho looks set to join Barcelona this month. While Lemar isn’t exactly a like-for-like replacement, he has shown the playmaking abilities to fill the Brazilian’s boots in the long run at Anfield.
But, Arsenal and Liverpool have now received a major setback, with Monaco boss Jardim claiming that he has no intention of selling Lemar, or any other major player, leave in the winter transfer window.
“Monaco are not in the habit of making big sales in the winter. It’s our strategy. The players understand and they know how it goes here.”
So, a January switch to the Premier League looks highly unlikely, with any possible move only expected to happen in the summer, at the earliest. It now remains to be seen if Arsenal and Liverpool wait till the summer to launch an assault for Lemar, or if they turn their attention elsewhere to sign a January recruit.