Chelsea believe they’re the favourites to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, ruling Arsenal out of the equation.

Lemar was one of the few players in Monaco’s title-winning team to stay at the club during the summer, but he might not be there for long.

According to the Daily Express, Chelsea are after the Frenchman and believe there are two factors that will give them an advantage over their rivals.

One is that they want to offer Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi as a make-weight in any deal. The other is that there former director, Michael Emenalo, now works for Monaco.

michy mars
It’s easy to forget that Batshuayi flourished in France before his big-money move to Chelsea, and if used as part of the Blues’ attempts to sign Lemar, it could be increasingly tough for Monaco to reject their advances. (Picture source: Getty Images)

Arsenal were involved in a protracted pursuit of Lemar during the summer transfer window. It culminated on the final day of the transfer window, when the Gunners reportedly bid £92m in a last-ditch effort to sign him.

The move didn’t work out, and Lemar remained a Monaco player. It remains to be seen if Arsenal will try again for the 22-year-old during the January transfer window.

Monaco sit second in the Ligue 1 table but are nine points off leaders Paris Saint-Germain. Lemar has struggled to replicate his excellent form from last season, and currently has just two goals and three assists.