Monaco have turned down Arsenal’s €35million offer for Thomas Lemar and declared he is not for sale, according to a report.
The Guardian report “the French club will not sell the winger”, who has been identified by Arsene Wenger as a player who can strengthen Arsenal’s forward line.
The Daily Mail claimed this morning that Arsenal were “closing in” on the 21-year-old and that talks had “begun smoothly” and Wenger “did not expect any major hitches”.
But this latest news certainly represents a huge blow for Wenger, who is desperately trying to keep Alexis Sanchez away from the clutches of Man City. Whether Wenger has lined up Lemar as a potential replacement is unclear, but the possibility of Arsenal now signing Lemar seem slim.
The France wideman”is understood to be keen on working under Wenger”, but Monaco vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev has told Arsenal that they cannot sign Lemar.
Monaco have already lost Bernardo Silva to Man City, Benjamin Mendy is also wanted by City, while midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is close to joining Chelsea for around £40m and Kylian Mbappe is in demand and Vasilyev is eager to make sure the Ligue 1 winning team is not dismantled.
Monaco’s stance “is non-negotiable” and the club are prepared to offer the player a new deal to keep him; Arsenal will now have to decide whether they draw a line under their bid for the player.
Lemar, who has a contract until 2020, scored 14 goals and assisted a further 17 in 55 games last season as Monaco won the Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Wenger has signed just one first-team player so far this summer, with left-back Sead Kolasinac arriving on a free transfer from Schalke.