Thomas Lemar of Monaco takes on Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani
Arsenal are determined to sign Thomas Lemar and have abandoned a world record bid for his Monaco team-mate Kylian Mbappe.
Monaco have turned down two bids by Gunners for Lemar but boss Arsene Wenger will not be put off in his dogged pursuit of the 21-year-old winger and could end up paying more than £48m for his services.
The Daily Telegraph adds a twist of intrigue to this complicated tale by suggesting Lemar’s arrival could pave the way for unsettled Alexis Sanchez to exit the Emirates.
But Wenger has something of a juggling act on his hands. He is reluctant to sell Sanchez and Olivier Giroud, who is also unhappy, and leave himself short of numbers until replacements have been found despite the record signing of Alexandre Lacazette.
Sanchez has made it clear that he is not satisfied with Arsenal’s Premier League position of fifth and failure to qualify for the Champions League.
However, Arsenal’s current position is that Sanchez will not be sold – and certainly not to a Premier League rival like Manchester City and Chelsea – even if he goes into the last year of his contract.
The Daily Star says Lemar’s move to Arsenal is a done deal and will cost £48m plus add-ons.
The Star cites Tribal Football as its source and says an official announcement will be made when Arsenal return from their pre-season tour of Australia and China.
Monaco apparently wanted £53m but Gunners have managed to secure a reduction on the deal.
Teen sensation Mbappe netted 26 goals last season to help Monaco beat Paris Saint-Germain to the title while also reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Wenger is understood to be a huge admirer of Mbappe but is now resigned to missing out on the 18-year-old as Real Madrid step up their interest.
Finally, The Daily Express reports Arsenal could move for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele if Sanchez does leave.
Dembele, 20, has banged in 32 goals for Celtic in 48 appearances and has been valued at £30m.