Arsenal have given up on Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, yet Liverpool clearly think they can sign him. So why aren’t the Gunners renewing their interest.
As far as Arsenal are concerned, any chance of signing Thomas Lemar died when, as Arsene Wenger put it, Monaco closed the door on any deal.
They had been trying since June to convince the French club to sell, and it wasn’t until last week, on the eve of our latest thrashing by a half-decent team, that we conceded defeat. Monaco had sold too many players and weren’t going to sell another one.
A couple of days later, reports emerge that Liverpool want Lemar and will bid more than Arsenal to get the deal done. If Monaco had closed the door as Wenger said they did, just what has encouraged Liverpool to make a bid?
From Liverpool’s perspective, securing their place in the Champions League group stage means they can safely spend more money. According to Football 365, their latest offer for Lemar is £74m plus Divock Origi on loan. That is considerably more than what Arsenal had offered.
It seems, then, that the issue lies with Monaco’s asking price. Throughout this saga, it was reported that it’d take a “crazy offer” for Arsenal to sign Lemar, something the Gunners simply didn’t want to do.
As always, they started off with a low bid that was far away from Monaco’s valuation in hopes of negotiating a good deal. They now appear to be paying for that approach.
Arsenal often have a different view of the market to everyone else, it feels. Where other clubs accept the inflation and go with the flow, Arsenal constantly fight against the tide. The fee paid for Alexandre Lacazette felt like it could have been a change of attitude, but this Lemar saga has proven we’ve gone back to our old ways.
If we’re the only club in for a player, we’ll haggle. However, the moment another club gets involved, we drop out the race, fearful of an inflating asking price. It’s at this point that Wenger will discuss how hard it is to sign players in a small market with big prices.
It’s frustrating. Arsenal were in early and could have got the deal done long before Monaco sold more of their stars. Now they’ve given up, seemingly on principle, while another club swoops in and tries to sign their target.
Should Monaco end up selling Lemar, it’ll simply make Arsenal look like fools.