Ornstein: Arsenal losing confidence in quest for Lemar

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According to the BBC’s David Ornstein, Arsenal are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of signing Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

Arsene Wenger has already admitted that he’s interested in signing the France international and the Gunners are thought to have lodged three bids that have all been rejected.

Having already sold Bernardo Silva (Man City) and Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea), and with left-back Benjamin Mendy also on the shopping list of several clubs, the reigning Ligue 1 champions are fighting hard to keep the rest of their squad together. Bids for 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe have so far been turned down.

From the outset, the pursuit of Lemar and Mbappe has appeared to be linked with the future of Alexis Sanchez. Get one or both of the Frenchmen and selling the Chilean is a little more palatable (even to City). Fail to secure either of the targets and it makes it a more obvious decision to keep last season’s top scorer, even if it means losing him on a free next summer.

It emerged at the weekend that Sanchez would prefer to find a new club in the Champions League although he accepts that his future is in Arsenal’s hands.

Keeping Sanchez could have repercussions elsewhere in the squad. Having already signed Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, the squad would be top-heavy in the attacking department meaning Olivier Giroud could make way. For the time being, Arsene Wenger maintains he wants to keep the HFB. 

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82 Comments on "Ornstein: Arsenal losing confidence in quest for Lemar"

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Pedant

Shame, he looks like a great player.

Definitely need to keep Sanchez then.

Mein Bergkampf

Just trying to blue sky this situation but could this be a way to get Lemar to take affirmative action and hand in a transfer request. If we know he wants to join but Monaco are saying no, by leaking this story, he may well feel he has to take matters into his own hands and speak out about his desire to move.

Anonymarse

Or perhaps we should sign Mahrez instead of letting him go to Roma

santori

Sanchez is 95% gone and personally, I would sell him.

I think the Mahrez issue is Leicester. They are holding out for a big bid which they may not get.

Agreed. We should just test the waters with them and offer them 35m.

The Roma bid is purportedly 29m-30m

Mein Bergkampf

Wouldn’t be a transfer window without a good old Arsenal wild goose chase. Let’s just hope we haven’t put our eggs in one basket. Time to get serious about Mahrez?

Martin

No thank you. A moody one season wonder is not for Arsenal

Mein Bergkampf

I agree I’m not chomping at the bit for this one to come to fruition but I think one season wonder is a bit harsh. The things he did in that season were quite astonishing and in big, big games. This last season he scored ten goals and performed brilliantly in the champions league in a team that looked doomed for the drop for much of the season. Let’s not be too overly critical.

Faisal Narrage

We’re Arsenal fans. Being overly critical is what we do.

Anonymarse

He could be fucking amazing like he was for Leicester …

santori

Hazard was poor for Chelsea two seasons ago but rediscover form under anew manager. Just saying.

Its facile to judge a player on his performance with a struggling team that lost its confidence.

Players who are under-performing on potential are the ones to look at.

In fact those are the opportunities where you can get the best value.

JordanV

Lemar is 100% our type on paper, not sure we’d want to recouple with him though if Sanchez is still single

Goons

Seems like someone who wouldn’t get his chin up and play when the chips are down. Wasn’t too impressed with Mahrez last season.

Mein Bergkampf

Just trying to blue sky this situation but could this be a way to get Lemar to take affirmative action and hand in a transfer request. If we know he wants to join but Monaco are saying no, by leaking this story, he may well feel he has to take matters into his own hands and speak out about his desire to move.

GilbertoCazorla19

Wouldn’t be too happy if we did eventually sign Mahrez, besides the questionable attitude and one outstanding season and a couple of average ones there are better alternatives out there for our right wing or behind the striker in a 3-4-3

Willian and Douglas Costa come to mind and I’m sure there are others.

Rich

Still think we’ll sign him.
And under no circumstances can we sell Alexis to City, United or Chelsea.
Alexis will be 30 next season and he’s played a lot of football.
Not signing the contract on the table for him now is a risk.
And if £50mill gets you Kyle Walker then £50mill doesn’t even get you Alexis’s left foot.

Bosscielny

This, exactly this.

All of us say we’re a big club, it’s time we behaved as one. It’s time we let everyone know that the club is bigger than the wishes and whims of an individual player.

Keep Sanchez for the remainder of the contract irrespective of whether he signs an extension. Try getting someone like a Lemar.

If Sanchez behaves in an unprofessional manner from January coz of interest from other club which I highly doubt he will because one thing is sure he loves playing and hates being benched. But even if he does bench him. At least it will send a strong signal of intent to everyone concerned.

I also kind of agreed with Paul Merson’s suggestion of asking for Aguero in place of Sanchez. Let’s see how badly they want him.

John C

Selling him is exactly what a big club would do.

Barca sold him when it suited them, and if we were a big club that did all it could to make sure all our resources were on the pitch and not do just enough for bare minimum and pocket the rest this wouldn’t be an issue.

Bosscielny

Barcelona replaced him with Suarez and Neymar.

John C

Exactly, that’s what big clubs do, in fact that’s what all clubs do, they sell and upgrade.

This is only an issue at Arsenal because we’ve stopped selling and upgrading. Walcott, Gibbs, Giroud, Coquelin all prime candidates that should have been sold and replaced with better, there are many more examples as well.

But we’ve stopped selling, so instead of players being sold on our terms they more and more leave either on a free or acrimoniously.

That’s not the behaviour of a big club

Ant

Barca was also in a position to sell because of Suarez and still challenge for the title. If we sold him, we would lose one of our key players likely stay out of top 4

Arsenal fan

It’s the “one year left on the contract” that’s a problem.

If Monaco would be interested, I’d say a swap!

John C

We’re already £50m down from missing out on the Champions League next season do you think it’s good business to turn away another £50m + £7m on wages on principal?

Tapps

Yep.

John C

I’d rather see £100m on the pitch then down the drain

Jimboy

Arsenal football club not business club, besides we make more than that by just participating in the Premier League.

Time to show some balls!

John C

It’s not balls it’s stupidity

Tristan

I really can’t see monaco selling anymore players now. Classic Arsenal negotiations, piss about and then other clubs swoop in while we dither. It’s a real shame, both looked great prospects for our team.

Papyrus

We did get Laca, and we are still moving on… Our team deserves credit for that.

Tristan

Yeah true, it’s only taken 3 years to commit to him.

A different George

What other teams have swooped? Who have we lost by “dithering?” So far, we got a Bundesliga team-of-the-year left back and a very good striker. We made a huge offer for Mbappe, and a good offer for Lemar, and if we don’t get either of them, it’s because they did not want to come or their team refuse to sell.

Go onto a Chelsea blog and talk about Lukaku, or complain to Liverpool supporters about the Virgil Van Dijk fiasco.

Tristan

Did you not read the article?
“Having already sold Bernardo Silva (Man City) and Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea)”
While we’ve clearly dithered, Monaco have sold other squad members on, and you don’t have to be a genius to realise they won’t carve up the rest of their squad and leave themselves even weaker.
So I’m guessing we’ve missed the boat on Lemar and Mbappe.

A different George

Yeah, I read the article. I don’t believe Monaco decides who to sell by which bid comes in first, unless they are very stupid indeed. They knew all along they would have bids for Mbappe, Lemar, Bernardo Silva, and Bakayoko (and possibly others). Their decisions on who to sell and who to keep were made in that context.

Tristan

Money talks I’m afraid. If we’d wanted we could have bought them and their plans would have changed. At the moment we’re hanging around for Sanchez, I’m sure we would have tried harder if he gone.

Sal

These journalists are so full of shit.

50 shades of Andy Grey
50 shades of Andy Grey

I definitely agree…but David Ornstein generally seems to be pretty good and accurate.

Clive St Helmet

Agreed. I basically ignore Arsenal transfer rumours unless it’s come from Ornstein.

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

POOORRRNNNSTEEEIIIIIN

Arsene\'s zip

Most are, yes. But not Ornstein.

I generally don’t believe anything until it’s on Arseblog, Arsenal.com,or Ornstein says it.

Sal

Its not me downvoting by the way! Wasnt aware of Ornstein as an exception but will keep an eye out for his outpourings

Tristan

you should get a free Arseblog T shirt for that comment.

Adam

Why did city and chelsea manage to secure their targets from Monaco and we did not (yet?)? Maybe lets increase the fucking 40 to 55-60 and close the deal vs barganing with what was apparently our 2nd offer of 45?

GunnerDareMKD

Maybe because we was really busy signing lacazatte and negotiating with lyon stubborn president, and maybe because ST was priority then signing a young winger, and now when we have the priority signing we started going for Lemar immediately, if any this transfer windows is big difference to the previous one signing players before 1st of july one which broke our transfer record.

So stop whining.

Adam

Well you have quite some low bar of expectations my Friend. Why to benchmark ourselves versus past which was quite below standards and not the best ones who have their targets already completed? Ps. You are absolulety fine do disagree but please leave your ‘stop whining’ comments for some other place and time.

Bill

Chelsea only bought 2 players and got one on a free, we bought 1 and got one on a free. Man city bought 4 players, 1 19 and probably won’t play and one Kyle walker for 50 mill which is rediculous and doesn’t really count. It’s not like we are light years behind. So instead of stop whining, maybe just stop. So far in a half over transfer season and we have gotten two class players and working on more, not so bad.

baz00r

Multitasking? It’s pretty easy I would think to be negotiating with more than one club at a time. Surely it doesn’t take up every hour of the day? If that’s actually the case then our club is fucking pathetic at this transfer business =/

GunnerDareMKD

As we all know and it was widlet reported by sky sports and BBC david, we bid for lemar and lacazate in same week and both bids were rejected and lyon accepted our 2nd bid for Lacca and Monaco didn’t respond for our 2nd bid of 45mil so that is a statement, if monaco is playing hard don’t want to sell all team it is not wenger fault, because 80 mil is astronomical sum for lemar if they are saying they will let him only for 80.

Clins

That’s a lot of maybe’s. Here’s one maybe we suck at this.

78/79/80

Maybe it’s because Chelsea and Utd are in the CL.

A different George

Maybe because we were trying to get the players they really did not want to sell? It’s not necessarily that the other teams got their targets earlier–but that their targets were not as important to Monaco.

Clive St Helmet

Pornstein not making me Orneyyyy!!!!1!11! 🙁

Ad nauseam.

I can’t help but think that this is largely due to the speed (or lack of) that we do transfer business. Other teams have raided the Monaco squad and they simply can’t sell all their players. It may still happen at the end of the window when transfers are flying about every which way.

I wonder if Mahrez is still available?

Eamonn

Question: If Alexis does stay, and fails to sign a new contract. Having said the things he has said about wanting to find a new club. Next season when he is knocking in goals, how do the fans react? How do you treat someone that ultimately next year will be raging he wasnt let go?

Bosscielny

We’ll be celebrating. Coz he’ll be scoring for Arsenal Football Club. And that’s what we support at the end of the day.

Steve

He didn’t say he wants to find a new club, he said he wants champions league… which with the right recruitment and intent we can give him with a top four finish next season.

PFo

Dude, wake up.

Mike

OOOOORRRRNNNNSSSSTTTTTEEEEEIIIINNN

Rolo Toure

I’m surprised that more English clubs aren’t apparently ‘in’ for Sanchez. So much talk of Morata, Perisic, Aubameyang, Bale etc (granted, positions are different) but for perhaps 50m they could have the best player in the league, 28, guaranteed to be get loads of goals and ready-made for shredding PL defences. Hopefully this is because Arsenal have already issued a big fuck off to any English clubs thinking of bidding for him.

PBM

probably because they cannot come near to meeting his wage demands of > $350k per week, or because there is only one club who thinks that he might be worth that….

Capn Crunch

Okay a bit of weird and unlikely idea, and very football manager-esque…but what if we sold sanchez to monaco in exchange for lemar.

Obviously, sanchez is proven to be world-class and I would love to keep the guy but i’m getting really disillusioned with him now. Monaco have the money, they had a really strong champions league run so Sanchez that satisfies his demands. And they need some replacements.

And I would love to get a young and talented player in like lemar. A fresh start for us and get rid of some of the negativity circling the club.

Don’t crucify me. Just a wacky thought

George

Seems a perfectly grand compromise/solution to me!

A different George

Apart from any other problems, there is the little matter of whether Sanchez would want to play for Monaco, in the French league. You cannot “trade” a player in football the way you can in American sports leagues–he has to agree.

caligunner

Even if Monaco wanted to do that and agreed to Sanchez wage demands why wouldn’t they just pay Mbappe that wage and keep him forever lol

baz00r

Easy answer as to why, we fapped about and let other teams come in and pillage Monaco first, now they don’t want to sell anymore players which is understandable. If we really wanted him we should have gone in hard and fast and with an offer over their valuation, he would be in our squad now.

Gooneron

He will sign. I have hope. The Arsenal hope

podgygooner

Sanchez birthday is 19 December 1988, so will turn 29 next season – not 30. Just saying like….

Aman

But then there is a french journo who says we will get him at 48M plus add ons, and deal is agreed, but told arsenal not to announce till a replacement is got, something like Debuchy

PFo

Which French journo said this? Pretty sure it’s the usual made up rubbish.

Suvra

Let sanchez leave and let Ox take his place,enough of playing Ox on the right flank,put him on the left.
Yeah, it would look like a bad deal,but overdependance on Sanchez has cost us our UCL spot and now Sanchez wants to play in a team with UCL spot? Shame on him

Terry Henry

Don’t give up AFC!!!

Terry Henry

Douglas costa as an alternative??

Andy G

Already gone to Juve.

Alexstratz

I have a feeling this will be another summer where we almost buy all of the players we need yet miss out on that last one which would take us to the next level. Déjà vu.

#define

The (un)likelihood of Lemar being signed notwithstanding, I’m surprised how well Monaco was able to put together a squad such as this, and Wenger’s French connections couldn’t help us identify these same players earlier (Mbappe, Bakoyoko, Lemar etc).
Let us hope for the best.

baz00r

This I don’t understand either. How does Wenger not have a radar on these players years before they come through the ranks with all his french connections (especially Monaco) it baffles me.

Rook

The competition is now a lot more fierce in the epl and they are not playing with much pressure both from the league and fans. We fans will complain if the club still signs not established players.

Lacazetti Spaghetti

I still think we should be doing everything we can to sign Lemar, even if we keep Sanchez for this season. If he is seen as Sanchez’ eventual replacement, having him properly bed-in over the season is forward planning for his inevitable departure. If we miss out on Lemar now, watch him have an absolute blinder of a season and his valuation soar to £100m+ next year with the likes of Real/Barca/Bayern after his signature, thus becoming one for AW’s “I could have signed him, you know” book…

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

I get the feeling Lemar is a ‘pay big now or it’ll never happen’ deal. Monaco have sold a bunch of players and offering big bucks with enough time for them to spend it is the only way this will be pushed though. Our usual haggling until August 31st won’t work and his price will only go up next year. Look what happened with Lacazette, we ended up spending an extra €13m on him and wasting £17m on Lucas by not paying slightly more. Sure he’ll be a touch over priced, but no more than his valuation post world cup

MGC

We should keep trying. He looks the type of player that will cost a lot more in the future and our dithering means he will end up at a club next season who are willing to pay big money for him.

santori

I don’t know why we are persisting with this chase. It looks highly unlikely that Monaco will clear their cupboards bare completely.

To me, we should just go for Mahrez. He is already settled and bloodied in England.

Bids for him by Roma (if to be believed) are around 29-30m which is affordable. Of course Leicester are holding and hopeful for a bigger bidder to come in.

They will need reconstruction and could well do with the money.

To me, if we are prepared to go 45m for a 21yr old who will have to settle to pace of a new league, may as well plonk down 40m for Mahrez and force the issue with Leicester now.

I think the problem with Mahrez purchase is Wenger will have to look at a potential shortfall in deep midfield.

I’m sure his thinking is Lemar is one size fits all, covering both deep midfield and higher up.

But this may not be the best prescription if you ask me. If we have to buy another player specialised to deep midfield I say we go for it. It was our Achille’s heel last season.

Currently we have Granit-Ramsey partnership which prob works best in 3-4-3. Coquelin is another option who thrives in 3-4-3 format. We do not have the player capable to take us back to a 4-2-3-1 if need be.

And all options thereafter in midfield are half options.

Ox is a stop gap at best, with better threat IMO wide or at wingback.

Iwobi I feel can be develop deeper and has prerequisites of strength, technical ability and eye for the through pass.

Santi and Jack are injury liabilities.

And Elneny is a hardworker but mediocre at best (particularly defending)

Whether Wenger will plug the gap in midfield is of course a massive question.

santori

I think we need to let Alexis go.

Proviso it is not to another PL club.

There are other parties that may have interest and I feel that’s why its been dragging.

PSG, Inter (possibly even AC) are all in need of reconstruction for varied reasons the Italian clubs are flushed with Chinese capital and have to rebrand their tarnished image.

caligunner

neither of the italian clubs are in CL so if you take what he said at face value then cross those off. PSG don’t want Auba because of his value then why would they want Sanchez, different players but similar age and similar type of players in terms of high energy.

Gooner

I feel like if Sanchez is defo set on leaving ether now on next year sell him to whoever idealy juve or psg but even city and then go all in for Lamar and Mbappe. Would show we’re not fucking around even if we have to get rid of a star player it’ll send out a messege that we’re not getting fucked about again

mo974

it is going to be difficult , monaco has placed several players on the transfer list : germain , bakayoko, mendy , bernardo silva ( the one we should have gone for to take santi’s role , watch him tear pl defences next season) cause they have planned the players who will take over them and most of them were already in the team as subsitute , so the last one to go will be mendy to city. lemar , mbappé , sidibé are not on that list jardim want them for this year. so it will take a crazy bid to get lemar.

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