With just hours left of the summer transfer window, Monaco’s Thomas Lemar has a decision to make. The Daily Mail claim that Arsenal have made a £90 million offer, whilst the London Evening Standard say that Liverpool are still prepared to pay over £70 million for the 21-year-old.
Goal claimed this morning that Lemar has made it clear to Monaco that he wishes to move to Anfield, but now with the choice of Merseyside or the Emirates, he will have to choose between Liverpool and Arsenal.
In the short term, the most obvious factors would suggest that Liverpool would be the better move. A squad full of young players signing improvements seems a much happier place to be than Arsenal, who are seeing an exodus of their key talent after the departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Alexis Sanchez potentially following in his footsteps.
The Reds also boast Champions League football this season, something that the Gunners cannot. It is hard to see why Lemar would abandon a Champions League campaign with Monaco to join Arsenal, who are far from certain to qualify next season either, even if they do sign Lemar.
The lure of playing under Jurgen Klopp may be more appealing than Arsene Wenger too. Whilst Wenger is a popular figure in France, he lacks the energy and the track record of having developed players in recent years that Klopp has. It was a key part of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move, and Lemar may be thinking along the same lines.
With Liverpool yet to match Arsenal’s bid, it seems that he may not even have the choice. Monaco are clearly prepared to hold out for a high price, and if the Gunners meet that then it will put huge pressure on Liverpool to match the £90 million bid. If they refuse to do so, Lemar may well opt to stay at Monaco and pursue a move in January or next summer if he doesn’t want to drop out of the Champions League.