Monaco: Arsenal were close to finalising Lemar deal

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Monaco accept that Thomas Lemar could leave the club at the end of the season having only just held onto the attacking midfielder during the summer.

Arsenal and Liverpool went head-to-head in the final days of the transfer window for the France international with the Gunners tabling a bid in the region of £90 million as they looked for a possible Alexis Sanchez replacement.

Looking to the future, Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s vice-president, confirmed that the in-demand 21-year-old could still leave the Stade Louis II.

“Liverpool were really interested,” Vasilyev told Sky Sports News. “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.

“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 leave because of X, Y, Z. I think it would be fair to say Thomas will have a fair chance to an exit next year.”

With clubs already eyeing the January transfer window, the Russian accepted that Monaco’s desire to keep the player could well be tested again.

“January, in football, never say never, but this is not what we’re thinking of, this is really not in our plans.

“Then we have to wait and see, how the team does, in different competitions, if we have an interest in him, and also his ambitions after the World Cup. January doesn’t seem like the right time for major changes in the team.”

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61 Comments on "Monaco: Arsenal were close to finalising Lemar deal"

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JustBrowsing

Well he’s fluttering his eyelids and whistling at Arsenal to come back in for him, which I’ll be over the moon with.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

More like if Arsenal went balls deep in negotiations (we never do), we would’ve gotten Lemar. Now we’ll have to pay even more–thats what this pr is about. Hopefully we just buy him this time in June. Crazy thing this market…

IamaGoober

Yeah its a joke – Blaise Matuidi goes to Juventus for like a tenner.

Mein Bergkampf

Wouldn’t you be? English clubs are just getting the piss taken out of them on the continent. They made 150m from Citeh and Chelsea and replaced them them with three players that totalled under 50m. Lemar is a good, promising youngster but 90m is fucking crazy. And Monaco know it.

SB Still

That’s why I think us trying increase our bid £5M at a time, maybe we could have got him for £55M or £60M before the Neymar deal.

That one deal inflated the whole market massively. There is no other market that inflates so much, that it doesn’t make sense to keep the money and wait.

Lemar will now cost £100M+

thw14

The amount EPL clubs make from TV rights is fucking crazy. I like how Kroenke just assumes he can make off like a bandit with that revenue. Like no club that we try to buy from will ever notice that poor little Arsenal could bailout a country if it wanted to.

Nelson

Keita diao was available for 30m curious why there was no link with him

Artro

Cause he’s shite

Alex

Since then he hasn’t done much for his club and for his national team. Nothing worth this amount.

Goonerific

Because the team was gutted, you think Ozil would play well at Bournemouth?

Dial square

Should have upped the bid by £1, honestly supporting this club is like being constantly kicked in the nuts….love them to bits though.

Stikkman

Sure. Rub salt on it.

Kostas Greek Gooner

Lets add him to the endless “wonderkids-that-almost-signed-for-us” list…

Lord Bendnter

Let’s give Monaco a call at 11pm, one hour before next summer Transfer Window closes, on the availability of Lemar

Awesomesauce25

You may recall arsenal had multiple bids rejected by Monaco earlier in the window and were told plain and simple that he was not going to be sold this summer. The amounts on offer were quite aggressive at the time for a player so earlier in his career and only one year of evidence to judge. It wasn’t until the crazy inflation from Mbappe and Neymar sales closed that Monaco came back and said they were willing to do business if Arsenal threw out a crazy bid. Of which arsenal did throw out a crazy offer, and it was accepted. Only problem was there was no time to settle things with the player. many say we should have had a package agreed before the bid, however, you may recall that it is illegal to discuss such things with a player before the club gives their blessing. So I look at it as taking the good with the bad. I love arsenal because they tend to act more respectful and do business in an honorable way. But occasionally that means we may have missed out on an opportunity that a club with less class may have completed. I’m totally ok with this trade off.

Lord Bendnter

I can’t swallow down that other clubs managed to capture Monaco players, while we couldn’t get Lemar. I think it was an inflated transfer window well before Mbappe or Neymar deals, and we might not have been willing to give in. So while we might not have budged, other clubs completed their transfer businesses with Monaco. I think that after the Mbappe transfer, Monaco jacked up Lemar’s price even more. So maybe our negotiating was not up to par, despite the inflated window, from the start of the transfer window.

PaulS

Monaco players are/were not all one homogeneous hive entity. Different players carried different values.

If you look at sites tracking perceived market value, the likes of Bakayoko and Mendy simply weren’t considered particularly high value until Chelsea and Manchester City expressed an interest at the beginning of this Summer. Mendy was injured for a big portion of last season and seems to have had persistent injury problems over the past few years.

Whereas Lemar’s perceived value was already pretty high the previous Summer and had advanced considerably further by January. Bernardo Silva was probably about as highly rated as Lemar, but not being French reduces his value in the French league.

Monaco stated at the beginning of the Summer that there were players they were kind of happy to let go and players they wanted to keep. I think Bakayoko, Mendy, Silva were in the former camp and Lemar in the latter.

Dave M

I can’t swallow this BS of Arsenal doing things “more respectfully than other clubs”. Arsenal are one of the “Big 6” trying to squeeze more money out of foreign TV revenue over the existing revenue sharing more – meaning we are trying to be the same as Barca and Real. Arsenal are the club that charge the highest home game ticket prices across Europe. And there is evidence of Arsene have meetings with Mbappe and a whole host of other players before agreements. If being respectful is pocking boat loads of coin for old white men then Arsenal is the most respectful team around…otherwise we need to get off our high-horse and realise we’re being taken for a ride by a bunch of rich greedy ba$tards

Crash Fistfight

Could you stop referring to “old white men” please? Does it make it ok if money grabbing is done by other demographics?

Dave M

Sorry, I guess Josh Kroenke isn’t exactly old…
#WhitePrivelage

Savage

Exactly, it’s blatant racism and sexism

Dave M

lol…Blatant racism and sexism is when a white man calls out that a club run almost entirely by old white men interested in making themselves rich at the by scrapping real football ambition is “blatant racism and sexism”
#WhiteMalePrivilege is alive and well with you guys. Hilarious! #TheUntouchables

Isaac

May I remind you that Arsene had meetings with Mbappe with the blessing of the club. He didn’t do it behind their back because if he did, he wouldn’t publicly declare that we almost bought him last summer – please get your facts straight before saying things that aren’t true. Yes the most honest and honourable groups don’t get some fantastic players but Arsenal are known for doing things the right way and won’t tap up players. Also, I don’t see anything bad in trying to make more money, as long as it’s not in a wrong way

Dave M

Yes because Stan Kroenke earn his money the right way…right!?!

Dave M

“It was quite close. At the same time it was just too late, not enough time, to really follow up on this deal.”

So, so Arsenally…

I’d love him to come, but you just know one of the Manchesters, Chel$ki, or Real or Barca are going to snipe him now. And then in a few years we’ll have Wenger saying “With Lemar we were very close, just little bit not enough time to complete it. We always rated him very highly”

Mpls

We can probably blame City’s late Alexis bid for a healthy portion of this tardiness. They chose to play games pulling him late leaving us with no replacement, or cynically turning his head last minute to affect Alexis and morale.

Atom

@mpls – come on. we had literally all summer to sign Lemar & almost assuredly could have done it for far less than 90m if we had done it earlier in the summer before Monaco had sold everyone else. We are the ones who chose to spend the entire summer saying that Sanchez wasn’t for sale & did not attempt to replace him beforehand. worst case we would have had lemar and sanchez for a year. this is totally on arsenal

Dave M

Here here @Atom…Arsenal totally effed up this whole situation, not Monaco, not Lemar, not Sanchez.

If we had of signed a world class dominant DM, an attacker like LeMar and a striker the summer before we would already have Alexis and Ozil signed up.

Instead we got another central midfielder and tried to make him a DM, bandaged up out other wide position with theo and the Ox, and slowed everything down to fit Giroud into the team when the players we have demand a high tempo game (said it 1000x Ozil is one of the worlds best counter attacking footballers). Then spend all summer saying we won’t sell ALexis or the Ox only to go back on it in the last few days, sell the Ox (great deal FYI), but worse attempt to sell Alexis only run out of time, piss him off further, and make all the Wenger fanatics turn their hate on Alexis because he agreed to leave and have the inevitable PR team state “we really tried to sign the big name [Lemar] but ran out of time”.

I just can’t help but see how scripted this all is to save face and keep the ticket sales rolling…#GroundHogDay

caligunner

If Arsenal was in the market for a World Class DM, please name some that were available that are world class?

I agree we should have signed an attacker during the summer ’15 or ’16 but really ’15 because we were building good momentum with the post stadium debt era.

Who cares if you spend the whole summer saying Alexis or Ox isn’t for sale and then try to unload them at the end? Isn’t that the same thing Monaco did with Lemar??

Dave M

Who is in the last year of their contract? Lemar or Alexis?

Why wait all Summer saying no then say yes and then finally get agressive in the Lemar chase. This could have all been done before if that was the plan. If keeping him was the plan then stick to it. Don’t back out (like always) and cause an even bigger farce than letting your two best players run their contracts down has already created.

DMs: Kondogbia, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Matic, Carvalho, Kante, Seri, Illarramendi, Matuidi…there is a few. All have moved around or could have been bought.

caligunner

It doesn’t matter if someone has just signed a 5 year contract or in their last year. If we use your reasoning then everyone should have known Alexis was for sale regardless since he was in his last year. A club like PSG or City should have been pursuing regardless what AW said about Alexis. Besides that like you said AW does this all the time in last few years so why would any of these clubs take his word that they weren’t for sale? You can’t have it both ways.

Like you said since anyone can be bought. Hence Neymar leaving Barca. If you are willing to overpay why not? World Class was what you used to describe the players AW should have pursued. Obviously opinion is all relative.

Kondogbia-not good enough for the price?
Matic-Not coming here over ManU with JM, be realistic
Illarramendi-Not familiar with him
Carvalho-not good enough? no one else has bought him yet and of course he’s been mentioned all over the place.
Kante-Sure I agree with that but it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Maybe Kante wanted to go to Chelsea
Seri_I don’t think he is DM?
Matuidi-To old

Hard to believe but not everyone wants to come to Arsenal. That doesn’t mean Arsenal or the player is bad. Thats just the way it is sometimes as you know.

Dave M

It does matter what year of the contract they are in because its a matter of losing them for nothing or making money. Forced to sell or forced to take the hit. With a massive contract on board the worst that can happen is a massive transfer fee. PSG and Man City pursued Alexis all summer. Were you under a rock? We stone walled them, then we caved in and the farce rolled out. Monaco played hard ball because they didn’t need the money due to other sales so forced the price up. We got played like a drum only to mess it up like only Arsenal can…

Hence why I have been saying we should have built a squad around Alexis and Ozil to show them ambition. But the truth is in the numbers – transfer profit this year – that is our ambition. Not football. If we brought in a DM, wide player, and a striker 2 summers ago we would have Alexis and Ozil signed up and we wouldn’t be out of the champions league. But as always Wenger shoe-horns his favourites into the team every week. The team lacks balance, we dont play to our strengths, and the players have a laisse-fair attitude due to our laisse-fair coach that won’t call them out publically for being sub par especially in the big moments not even in the locker room (It was Cech that ripped the team after Liverpool not Wenger).

On the DMs the reason we don’t have one is because we lack ambition and Wenger keeps trying to make players what they are not. Not every actual CM can play multiple roles esp. DM. Not everyone is Santi. So we use average players (Le Coq ) or try to make CMs into DM (Jack, Xhaka, even Ramsey). And our young DMs never get a chance at the role because they are forced to play as fullbacks because we don’t have enough players to cover the positions and then they lose sense of what they are meant to be actually doing.

Kondogbia-not good enough for the price?
What are you talking about?! Not good enough? for who?

Matic-Not coming here over ManU with JM, be realistic
Yes, not coming here because we have no footballing ambition

Illarramendi-Not familiar with him
He is brilliant. Busquets/Santi style player (controls the game, high IQ,)

Carvalho-not good enough? no one else has bought him
again, you’re the scouting expert eh?

Kante-Sure I agree with that but it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Maybe Kante wanted to go to Chelsea
You snooze you lose

Seri_I don’t think he is DM?
He can fill many roles

Matuidi-To old
lol. He is 30, he would have been 29 two summers ago. There is only one club in the world he is too old for and you know which one

caligunner

PSG and ManC both backed off after the initial interest because AW wasn’t going to sell. Until the end when ManC finally upped their offer and AW finally had to funds to go after Lemar with those funds.

Exactly Monaco didn’t need to sell. They could wait another year or 2 for Lemar to get even better and sell at a bigger price later. The whole market got screwed once Neymar actually transferred out. Mbappe was overpriced even though he potentially is a great player. Why do you want to pay double the price when you know he isn’t worth it this season at that price and who knows if he would be able to live up to it. You never know with young players.

Summer ’16? the club spend 90M that summer. How much more could they have spent? Not acting like we are ManC or United or Chelsea where they don’t care about club debt.

Kondgobia-would have cost over 40M, Why weren’t any other clubs in on him instead went out on loan this year?

Matic-no not coming here because of his relationship with JM.

Kante-again maybe he preferred Chelsea.

Carvalho-Are you a scouting expert?? lol WTF all I know is he is still at his original club when most players from that club leave once potential is shown. Am I wrong there?

Seri-If you are specifically going to go after DM then no Seri hasn’t proven that. Just because you think he can play that role is the same complaint you have with AW putting players in roles they shoudln’t be in.

Mutuidi-Yes to old, who cares 2 summers ago? was he for sale 2 summers ago and if he was why did he stay at PSG if he is so much in demand?

Again sorry but Arsenal is always going to lose out to clubs that are willing to go into debt for players. When was the last time they beat out one of the big clubs that spend into debt for a player? Its not ambition.

I guess we have different ideas what a DM is. If describe a player as similar to Santi, sorry but that isn’t a DM.

Matt

“in a few years” I really really really hope Wenger has retired, at least not here anymore..

DialSquareGoon

DO IT!

Mein Bergkampf

Well you’d make a useless suicide prevention ambassador…

Rich

Martial I think has one year left on his deal next summer?
If United sign Griezmann?
We should be all over it.
Quality player… and having United educate a player for us to reap the benefits, would be ohhh so sweeet.

Mein Bergkampf

And what an education they gave Mikael Silvestre…

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

I’ll rather sign Griezmann. Although I think Martial will come good

ramgooner

Honestly, i don’t understand why clubs fear United. They finished below us in the league last year and i’m pretty sure they will finish below us this year. As much as i hate to say it i personally rate Tottenham more than United.
I don’t see Griezmann to United happening. The only chance of that happening is if Mourinho gets sacked and is replaced by Simione.

Rich

He was heading to United this summer until Atletico’s transfer ban.

caligunner

Who don’t know that lol

caligunner

You sound like a fan of every other top club besides Arsenal lol

Paul

I don’t rate him anyway. Let’s keep Sanchez fingers crossed!

Dave M

Well I mean if you don’t rate him Paul, he must be rubbish. Let’s not sign him

Ted E.

Agreed. I was very excited about his prospects, until I learned that Paul does not rate him. Seems we got away with one there.

Mein Bergkampf

I wish you’d told us this at the beginning of the window Paul. Could’ve saved me a whole summer of frustration.

Artro

Stick it to the man, Paul!

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...
He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

Just a delightful reminder that we left it staggeringly late to do a deal of that magnitude. Fools.

Andy Mack

Weren’t we initially told he wasn’t available, and then at the last moment $iteh put a bid in so we’d have a space in our ’25’, we asked again and then we were told there wasn’t enough time…
Maybe if $iteh had put a bid in a week earlier then the deal would have happened…

Andy Mack

*$iteh put a bid in for Alexis, obviously!

Central Fullbacks

“It was quite close. At the same time it was just too late, not enough time, to really follow up on this deal.”

So basically, we could’ve had Lemar. Playing for us right now, maybe even have been in the top 3, had he played.. if we’d just you know.. Bid a few days earlier instead of being stingy panicky c_nts..

#wengerknowsbest #wengerout
#kroenkeout
#coyg

Chamack123

How much did Silva go for to City? 40m?He was rated higher than Lemar at Monaco last year. It’s a case of captain hindsight, but could we not have bid 40m plus the day the transfer window opened, probably would have got him. Sigh

Goonerific

Sell Sanchez to City and get Lemar in January, its the only sane solution.

Me So Hornsey

I don’t think we’d get Sane to be honest, although it’d be great.

420Goonerblayzeit

Would be a great signing next summer. I think though that we need more creativity in the market. With fees how they are why can’t we do things like Leicester or Swansea getting big name players on loan. Or how Bayern got James on loan. I know AW likes to pinpoint his signings and doesn’t like to compromise. But if this season goes off the rails – an injury to either Ramsey or Xhaha would be very difficult to cope with – it’s down to his indecisiveness.

Untactic Wenger

My two cents on the matter is that Arsenal very much wanted to get Thomas Lemar very early in the transfer window but they could only get him if : a) his transfer price was significantly lower than 90 million or b) Sanchez was sold and the cash from the sale was added up to already available cash. To assume that Arsenal can afford to pay 💶 90 for Lemar is fanciful thinking.Maybe if Kroenke put in his own money, we would afford to buy players at any price. However any chance of that happening with two shareholders is again fanciful! Just like Everton have to accept the difficulty of punching above their weight , so do many arsenal fans.

Dave M

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/11057902/arsenal-revenue-tops-400m-but-cash-reserves-fall

Yes, broke club. Poor poor Arsenal. Maybe if the ambition had something to do with football and not hunting expeditions for ivory back scratchers

Twatsloch

How about we trade them a Chilean who is desperate to leave us? He’s a good player with a positive attitude even when his team loses as is evident by how often he smiles in the face of defeat. A bit grumpy when he’s subbed but never rusty because he never stops playing even during summer breaks.

Have him plus a few mil on top!

santori

I think Lemar was strictly to bring in more option at fullback (particularly left wingback)

That said, he is incredibly expensive.

If we can do a swap/make weight deal with PSG for Draxler or Pastore with one of our wantaway big names, the better.

Trex d\' Gunner

We really messed things up big time, dilly dallying on someone we obviously need

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