Thomas Lemar has told L’Equipe he was ‘flattered’ to be the subject of Arsenal and Liverpool’s interest last summer.
As Manchester City employed sneaky tactics, aimed at landing Alexis Sanchez late in the window, or leaving him at Arsenal unsettled, the Gunners quickly turned to Lemar on the final day of the window with a whopping €100m offer.
The problem, however, was that the last day of the window was also the same day as a set of international fixtures and the transfer was not able to be completed.
Prior to Arsenal’s bid, Liverpool had also submitted a hefty bid of their own which had been turned down by Monaco.
“It is flattering that such clubs are interested in you,” Lemar said, “but, except perhaps for a few minutes during the break, the day of the match, I didn’t think about it at all.
“My agents left me alone so that I could focus on that match [which was] hyper important.
“I was not disturbed for a second by this”.
If Lemar was secretly pondering his future during France’s game against the Netherlands, then he didn’t show it. Running out 4-0 winners over the Dutch, Lemar netted two himself that day, but no transfer materialised for him.
Asked specifically about Arsenal’s €100m bid, L’Equipe point out that his transfer fee would have made him worth more than Zinedine Zidane. He laughs before saying, “Oh no, do not me not compare me to Zidane! He is Zidane!
“After that, the transfer market is a bit crazy now.
“I work, I work… We’ll see what happens in due time.”
Given that Arsenal spent over £100m last season on Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they are not expected to go back for Lemar this summer.
France face Italy tonight (Friday) at the Allianz Riviera in Nice. Despite having the same qualifying record as France, ‘La Squadra Azzurra’ failed to progress through the World Cup qualification playoffs after losing to Sweden over two legs.