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Rumour Mongering: Arsenal Accept Defeat in Thomas Lemar Chase

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According to the papers, Arsenal have accepted they can’t compete with Liverpool for Lemar.

France v Belarus - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez is on his way out at Arsenal, likely this month but by the end of the season no matter what and likely to head to league rivals and runaway title favourites Manchester City. That has left the London club in search of a replacement for the versatile, dangerous, hard-working attacker.

Their top choice was Thomas Lemar, Monaco’s rising-star 22-year-old, but after seeing the player baulk at their approach on deadline day and then again being told that he favours a move to Liverpool, the Gunners are backing off and moving on to Plan B in the form of Bordeaux forward Malcom.

The 20-year-old Brazilian has impressed this season and has an excess of talent and a clearly bright future but is just clearly a step or two behind Lemar at this stage. Tottenham and Manchester City are also said to be after him, but according to The Mirror Arsenal would be able to offer playing time.

Meanwhile on the Liverpool side of things, the club are widely reported to still be interested in Lemar, but The Liverpool Echo and others are suggesting a January deal isn’t likely and that the club will wait to bring him in until the summer—or could perhaps do a pre-deal this month to lock him down.

In the summer, Liverpool had a medical team standing by to fly to France as the club sought to push through Lemar’s signing on deadline day but Liverpool’s final offer of around €75M wasn’t enough to tempt Monaco into selling him with no time left to bring in any kind of replacement.

Arsenal’s €90M deadline day offer was enough to get Monaco to agree a sale, but Lemar was unconvinced by the Gunners and chose instead to remain at Monaco in the hopes of a better move materializing in the future.