Thomas Lemar didn’t move to Liverpool this summer because of Arsenal’s larger financial offer, according to journalist Duncan Castles.
Castles spoke to the Transfer Window podcast about the summer transfer rumours.
He explained (via Express): “A guy they (Arsenal) are looking at to replace Sanchez is Thomas Lemar. He’s the one they agreed a fee with Monaco for in the summer window.
“Lemar, also wanted by Manchester United and on Jose Mourinho’s recruitment list for a winger. Liverpool tried to get him in the summer and had an agreement with him to come, but Arsenal gazumped them with more money so the player didn’t move.
“The boot is probably now on the other foot, in that deal. Lemar has still told Liverpool he will go, if they can get a deal.
“But Liverpool now have to come to an agreement on price with Monaco and they are holding off on that.
“Monaco, intelligently enough, realise there are three of the top English clubs wanting the player and they can wait.”
Normally, I wouldn’t take anything Duncan Castles says too seriously. Especially considering how much time he spends trying to twist things to look good for United and his love idol, Jose Mourinho but these comments seem fairly consistent with what we already know.
We know that Arsenal and Liverpool both chased Lemar’s signature over the summer, plenty of sources confirmed that.
We also know that the Gunners made a massive financial offer at the end of the window.
The potential Alexis Sanchez departure to City for £60m funded a £92m bid, although both deals fell through due to timing more than anything else. By leaving it until the last day, Manchester City ensured they screwed Arsenal regardless of whether they landed Alexis.
Now, thanks to the Coutinho to Barcelona deal, it’s clear that Liverpool can make a much larger financial offer.
Coutinho’s exit also puts a bit of extra pressure on the club in attack, although that is where they are strongest this season so their need is not as desperate as Arsenal’s.
Lemar has scored three goals and assisted four in 21 appearances for Monaco this season, not exactly the kind of form that proves he’s a good replacement for Sanchez.
It’s up to Arsene Wenger to decide if the potential is still there. Given he’s only 22, it’s hard to think it’s not.