Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev says that the club convinced Thomas Lemar to snub Arsenal and stay in France because they didn’t need the money.
Vasilyev was asked by French newspaper L’Equipe why Lemar and Fabinho were kept, rather than giving them the moves they seemed to be looking for. Vasilyev responded: “We are not looking for records,” reports the Express.
“Sales, they are the consequence of having a great season, the league title, a great manager and an excellent recruitment cell and scouting network. We don’t want records. We want to maintain a competitive team while respecting our economic model. And today, we’ve managed it.
“We are, currently, financially safe and sound. You sell when you think it’s the right time. You’ve got to accept the risk [to then sell someone at a lower price the next time round] and it’s by taking risks that we have got here.”
In the case of a player like Thomas Lemar, Monaco are taking a small risk. Lemar had three years left on his contract, was coming off the back of a fantastic season and was in great form on deadline day.
If the French international now stays at the Stade Louis II and doesn’t perform this year, he’ll have a shorter a contract and be less in demand, which doesn’t put Monaco in a very strong negotiating position.
But as Vasilyev says, they aren’t just looking to break financial records, they have a job to do on the pitch as well. After selling so many key players, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Kylian Mbappé among others, holding on to at least a couple of their stars was important to get anything out of this season.
The problems Monaco could have after losing so many important players was evident against Nice, as Lemar and the team lost 4-0. As a result, it’s likely they will fight for those who have remained after last season’s Ligue 1 title triumph.