Sky Sports reporters Aidan Magee and Dharmesh Sheth have ‘revealed’ what most of us already knew regarding Thomas Lemar’s failed move to Arsenal on deadline day.
While talking on the Sky Sports Transfer Talk podcast, Sheth and Magee explained that it was almost impossible for Arsenal to complete the signing of Lemar in time for the transfer deadline.
City came in with a £60m bid for Alexis Sanchez, but the deal couldn’t go ahead unless Arsenal signed Lemar, who was believed to be the forward’s replacement.
At the time, the 22-year-old was set to feature for France against the Netherlands. He was preparing for the game, which he would later go on to score a brace in, and didn’t have time to be completing medicals and £92m deals, even though Monaco did accept the Gunners’ offer.
“Arsenal have had a longstanding interest in Thomas Lemar,” Sheth said. “Monaco have basically said they won’t be selling him in January but the likelihood is he will leave in the summer.
“You’ll remember on deadline day in August, £90m-plus bid was made by Arsenal and it was accepted.”
“They left it too late. The player was in Paris preparing for a World Cup qualifier,” Magee added. You can’t negotiate with a player hours before he plays a game unless you intercept a Eurostar or something.
Most of us already assumed this was the case.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that the Ligue 1 club had accepted Arsenal’s £92m bid for the winger but Lemar had turned down the move.
The boss also mentioned the Gunners would return for the France international in the future, which suggested the player didn’t have a problem with signing for Arsenal in general – it just wasn’t the right time.
Whether Arsenal return for Lemar this month remains to be seen. Manchester City seem keen to sign Alexis Sanchez and while Wenger doesn’t tend to make big January signings, if the Chilean goes, we need a replacement.
Monaco’s coach Leonardo Jardim admits that while the French club don’t want to let anyone leave in January, many things can happen…