Arsenal round-up: Lemar update; pole position for Nice midfielder; Wilshere returns to training
Arsenal haven’t given up on Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, who has been one of their priority targets this summer and the Daily Mail report that they are ready to submit a third offer of £50 million. Arsene Wenger hopes that this will be enough to convince Monaco to sell with personal terms likely to be a formality.
However, the Ligue 1 champions don’t want to lose the player, with the Mirror reporting the following quotes from the club’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev:
“Fabinho and [Thomas] Lemar are essential players, they will stay with us. We have kept all of the key players we intended to keep.”
There are plenty of twists and turns to go in this saga, but the comments from the vice-president are concerning for Arsenal. He names Lemar as a player that the club want to keep and other sales mean that they are under no pressure to come to an agreement with the Gunners. It will require an eye-watering amount for Monaco to agree to a transfer and the reported £50 million still might not be enough. This isn’t over, but it looks increasingly difficult.
The transfer business at the Emirates Stadium is beginning to ramp up as the new season approaches and French outlet L’Equipe report that Arsenal are now in pole position to land Jean-Michael Seri from Nice. He was one of the stars of Ligue 1 last season, contributing seven goals and nine assists. It is believed that the Gunners are lining up a bid of £35 million, which shows the desire to spend more money this summer. Tottenham are also in the running for the Ivorian, but it looks like the Wenger is best placed to land his man.
The Gunners need to improve their options in centre midfield, as Santi Cazorla remains on the sidelines and Aaron Ramsey can’t be relied upon to remain fit. Seri would provide energy in the centre of the park and add another attacking threat, as he is dangerous in the final third. His pass success rate of 89.5% last season displays his quality in possession and he would be perfectly suited to Arsene Wenger’s style of play.
If they did land Seri, it would deal a blow to Jack Wilshere. The England international has been linked with a move away and the Mirror report that he has returned to Arsenal training as he steps up his recovery from injury. Arsene Wenger is open to selling the midfielder as he won’t be given a new contract and he is in the final year of his current deal.
Wilshere is good enough to offer cover to the first team if he does stay at the Emirates Stadium, but he won’t be a starter for Arsenal again. His body has let him down in that regard and the club are moving on. There will be several Premier League clubs watching his situation, but he offers a huge risk and the finances will put off most managers that ask about the midfielder.
Although it is good to see him back in training, his career is at a crossroads and his future is unlikely to be in North London.
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