David Ornstein has confirmed Arsene Wenger’s recent comments regarding Arsenal’s move for Monaco winger, Thomas Lemar.
Ornstein shed some light on Wenger’s latest Lemar comments on Arseblog‘s podcast, claiming that the 21-year-old did want to join Arsenal during the summer but obviously rejected a £92m move on Transfer Deadline Day, opting to stay in Ligue 1 instead.
“The messages I was getting was that the interest in Lemar was absolutely concrete,” Ornstein said.
“They were hoping to make him their next signing [after Lacazette], but it wasn’t close at that point.
“Monaco weren’t interested in selling.
“Although, he had given indications, as I understand it, to Arsenal that he was prepared to join at that point.
“Lemar visiting the training ground? I know nothing of that.
“I’m not saying it’s not true but it’s certainly not been told to me by anybody.
“I have seen those reports and I fully respect them but I just can’t verify them myself.
“But what I have been told, reliably by a number of people, is that he had told Arsene Wenger that he wanted to, and was prepared to, join at that time.”
During Wenger’s pre-Bournemouth press conference, the boss insisted that Lemar hasn’t snubbed the Gunners, he’s just chosen to stay at Monaco for the moment.
While most of the media pretended not to know what Wenger meant, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that there’s a marked difference between a player rejecting a move to Arsenal and simply choosing to stay put for the time being, especially when they’ve got a World Cup qualifier to play in and have already made a strong start to the season for their current team.
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) September 7, 2017
Rather confusing from Wenger. Says Lemar didn't turn #afc down but he "decided to stay in Monaco".
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) September 7, 2017
The boss then went on to confirm that Arsenal would be returning for the France international in the future.
The Daily Star claims that the Gunners have even agreed a deal in principle with Lemar. The five-year deal will allegedly earn the 21-year-old £250k-per-week.
While only a rumour, this does fit in with Wenger claiming that he couldn’t really talk about transfers at the moment and Lemar saying, “You will soon see for yourself but for the moment I am a Monegasque and everything is going very well.”
As well as, “For the moment I am Monegasque.”
The move is expected to go ahead in January and reportedly does not hinge on whether Alexis Sanchez is going to Manchester City or not. Although let’s face it, he probably is.