Monaco manager, Leonardo Jardim, has admitted that it may not be possible for the Ligue 1 side to keep hold of all their best players this summer amid rumours that Thomas Lemar is moving to Arsenal.
Despite previously being adamant that Monaco were going to keep Lemar this summer, amid reportedly strong interest from Arsenal, Leonardo Jardim has conceded that it’s not always possible to keep all your best players.
“All the players who were important last season are important to keep for the club,” Jardim said, reports the Daily Star.
“But it has been shown over the years that it’s not always possible to keep the players, and you know how our project works.
“So our goal is to work well with players who will stay here after the transfer window closes.”
He added, “It’s not only about [Mbappe], all the young players who were here last year and had a great season.
“Fabinho, Lemar, Kylian, we’re talking about them joining other clubs, but they stay focused.
“Of course, Fabinho and Lemar are older, they may be a bit more mature, but Kylian, even these last two days, he’s been working well. They know that the most important thing is the pitch.”
The Ligue 1 club has already seen Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy sign for Manchester City, and Tiemoue Bakayoko move to Chelsea. Plus, there’s still rumours circulating regarding Kylian Mbappe’s potential switch to Real Madrid. Therefore, Jardim could merely be referring to these.
However, given the strong links between Arsenal and Lemar at the moment, he could very well be talking about the 21-year-old making a move as well.
The comments come after Monaco signed Rennes winger Adama Diakhaby. The 21-year-old, who the French club paid just €8m plus €2m in bonuses for, is being touted as Lemar’s replacement.
The Gunners have allegedly had two bids of £30m and £40m for Lemar rejected. They were said to have made a third of £45m, which some outlets have also said has been knocked back, while others have gone quiet.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal are still active in the transfer market and given the fact that Lemar is the only player the club are being repeatedly strongly linked with, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the next deal the boss wants to wrap up.
“What’s next is to remain active,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“Not a lot [has] happened.
After talking about the inflation we’re currently seeing in the transfer market, he said, “But we are active, we are working hard and I think we have done well with Kolasinac, we have done well with Lacazette and we are continuing to work.
“There’s the usual acceleration in the final part of August.
“But I think you have always to be on alert every day, because a good opportunity might turn up.
“Sometimes people you are after for a long time are not available and suddenly they become available. So you have always to be on alert. That’s what we do.”
The chances of Arsenal getting anything done between now and the Community Shield on Sunday, however, are slim to none.
The Gunners take on Chelsea for the third time in three months at Wembley this weekend after being previously beaten by Antonio Conte’s side in Bejing.