Monaco’s vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, has labelled Fabinho and Thomas Lemar ‘essential’, amid speculation linking them with moves to the Premier League.
The Ligue 1 champions have witnessed a mass exodus following their successful 2016/17 campaign, with four first-team players having already left the principality club, and rumours continue to swirl over the futures of those that still remain.
Three of the four departures were big money sales to Premier League clubs, as Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City, while Tiemoue Bakayoko was sold to Chelsea. Striker Valere Germain also moved to Marseille.
Kylian Mbappe, Fabinho, and Thomas Lemar have all been linked with moves elsewhere, chiefly to Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Arsenal, respectively.
But, according to SkySports, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev, having just revealed that Mbappe had been offered a new contract, insisted that Fabinho and Lemar would not be sold:
“Fabinho and Lemar are essential players, they will stay with us. We have kept all of the key players we intended to keep.”
These comments will surely be a blow to any suitors the players may have, with Arsenal in particular very strongly linked with Lemar.
The pair played an important role in a strong campaign for the club which saw them win Ligue 1, as well as reaching the Coupe de la Ligue final and Champions League semi-finals.
With Mbappe at the centre of a titanic transfer tug-of-war, the club can ill-afford to lose yet more key players, and will no doubt fight to keep as many as possible.