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.
Arsenal growing less optimistic of signing Lemar. Still trying but other Monaco exits reduce chances. Intention remains to keep Sanchez #AFC
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 17, 2017
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.