Arsenal round-up: Liverpool enter race Lemar race; update on Perez's future; Ospina states desire to stay
Arsenal’s pursuit of Thomas Lemar has been well documented as they have had three bids turned down. Monaco seem to be determined to keep hold of the French midfielder, but their resolve could be tested further as Liverpool are set to enter the race.
Le 10 Sport report that the Reds are lining up a move for the highly-rated player as they start compiling lists of possible replacements for Philippe Coutinho. They may have trouble holding on to the Brazilian and they are making plans in case he does depart.
This is a blow for Arsenal and they will be desperate to conclude a deal before Coutinho’s future is resolved. Liverpool would have the finances to blow the Gunners out of the water, while their place in the Champions League could appeal to Lemar.
Although Monaco have been stubborn sellers, there will be a price that convinces them to do business. If Coutinho moves to Barcelona, Jurgen Klopp will have the money to spend and could be prepared to place an offer that is too good to turn down. This is a concerning development for Arsene Wenger as it would be damaging for one of his priority targets to sign with a rival club.
If Arsenal are to land Lemar, they will need to boost their coffers by selling squad players that are surplus to requirements. The Standard report that Newcastle United have entered the race for Lucas Perez, but they are not yet ready to meet the £13.4 million asking price.
The Magpies have contacted the striker’s representatives, but they haven’t made a formal move. They would prefer a loan move as their finances are stretched. Deportivo remain in the running to take the player back to La Liga.
It is important that Arsenal start to make progress with departures and Perez is one of their most sell-able assets. The interest from Newcastle is interesting and it could be that a deal could be agreed between the two Premier League clubs. It would be preferred to sell to the Magpies, as they have more money than Deportivo.
Although they may not have the funds now, they will be receiving a lot in television revenue this season and a deal could be arranged in installments. Rafa Benitez recently signed Mikel Merino on a loan deal with an obligation to buy. A similar deal could suit Arsenal for Perez, as they would get him off the wage bill and get a considerable fee down the line.
David Ospina had been rumoured with an exit this summer, but he has vowed to fight for his place and he looks set to stay at the Emirates Stadium. He has no intention of leaving the club and wants to become number one for Gunners. The Sun reported the following quotes from the goalkeeper:
“I have a contract here, I’m happy and I’m going to fight to the end, I want to continue and win a job.
“That’s what I’m working for, I’ve been working for three years and now I’m waiting for the opportunity.”
During his time at the club, he has shown himself to be an able deputy for Cech and there have been signs that he can establish himself as a number one if he is given the opportunity. He will be given game-time this season in the cup competitions and it is up to him to prove that he should be the primary goalkeeper at the club.
It is good news that he will stay, as it would have been difficult for Wenger to find an adequate replacement.
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