Arsenal could be dealt a bitter blow in their chase for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, as the Daily Mail report the Ligue 1 champions are reluctant to sell any more top stars. Bernardo Silva has already left this summer, while Tieumoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy are expected to follow him out of the door.
Once those two have been sold, Monaco will have brought in a healthy total and there will be no need to sell Lemar. The Gunners’ last bid of £45 million wasn’t even close to being accepted and it will take an eye-watering amount now to get a deal done.
The mood music regarding Lemar has been good over the last seven days and there was an expectation that a deal would get done. However, this latest update will create doubt and it pushes the pressure on Arsenal to force a deal through.
The business that Monaco have already completed puts them in a strong negotiating position and they know they can raise the asking price for Lemar, as they have no need to sell. It could be that the player himself becomes important in getting a move to North London. If he pushes for a transfer, it will weaken Monaco’s position, but it remains to be seen whether he is prepared to do that.
Jack Wilshere remains on the sidelines with the injury that he picked up while on loan at Bournemouth, but his future has been brought into focus. The reliable Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Sampdoria have made contact over the midfielder and could be prepared to make a move. The asking price is €10 million, which seems low. However, considering his injury record and contract status, it is a fair price for the England international.
His loan at Bournemouth didn’t have the desired effect and he is now facing an uncertain future, as it is unlikely that he will be used at Arsenal. Although Arsene Wenger is a fan, his injury record means that he can’t be relied upon. He was okay last season, but he never looked like he was Champions League calibre. The Gunners should cash in and a move away from the Premier League could provide him with the fresh start that he needs.
Finally, Alex Iwobi has started pre-season with the first team and he is desperate to prove himself ahead of a crucial season. The winger lost his place in the second half of the season and admits that he needs to do more to be considered a first-team player. The 21-year-old has been quoted by the Mirror:
“I have a point to prove. I didn’t play as much as I’d like to last year. I want to start the season with a bang. I’ve been doing a bit of running and ball work to prepare.
“I need to be a bit more hungry this year, add more goals and assists. At the start of last season I played a lot. I want to do that all year. Consistency is the key with me.”
These are mature quotes from the winger and it will be interesting to see what role he has to play at the club. Wenger seems determined to bring in more attacking options and that could limit the opportunities that are on offer to Iwobi. There have been signs that the Nigerian international is a good player, but he needs to show more consistency.
If Alexis Sanchez stays and Thomas Lemar signs, it could be that Iwobi is forced to look for regular action elsewhere.
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