Another day, another Thomas Lemar story. The 22-year-old French international, fresh off scoring a goal and helping Monaco to a 2-1 victory over Nice in their League Cup semifinal, has made a lot of headlines during this transfer window and last.
Lemar was involved in one of the big deals that ultimately fell through—a £92 million offer from Arsenal on deadline day. Monaco accepted the deal, but Arsenal quickly retracted the offer (likely after the player himself refused to move). Liverpool were also in the mix on deadline day, but would not match Arsenal’s eye-watering fee.
Now, according to journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi, Monaco are willing to let the left-footed midfielder go for £61 million, practically a bargain. Let me just check between the couch cushions for a moment.
This is an odd thing to report, especially since everyone in Europe now knows that Liverpool are flush with cash after the £142 million deal for some player. However, Bouhafsi also insists that Arsenal remain favorites to land Lemar.
In conjunction with Guillem Balague’s assessment that Lemar is not a Liverpool target, there seems to be growing evidence that Liverpool will not move for the Monaco man in this window, even at a reduced price.
The rumor that Arsenal still lead the chase is at odds with the rumors that have been circulating recently, namely that Liverpool is Lemar’s preferred destination. That the deal fell through on deadline day in August, and that Arsenal are lagging behind Liverpool and Tottenham in sixth, only further indicates that Lemar might not be so keen on a move to the Gunners.
But as with all transfer nonsense, it remains a game of smoke and mirrors, even long after a player has moved on.