Former Arsenal supremo Dick Law has spoken to Goal about the negotiations over Thomas Lemar and Alexis Sanchez during his time at the club.
In 2017, it looked as if Sanchez would be off to Manchester City, with French international Lemar lined up to replace him.
He said: “We thought we had Lemar and that would have meant Sanchez to Manchester City. It was a simple operation of using the Sanchez money to pay for Lemar.
“We had a deal done for Lemar, Sanchez had a deal done with City. But Lemar had been called up for France and Monaco didn’t send a clear signal to the player before he left. The deal fell apart.”
Sanchez of course ended up joining Manchester United as part of a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan the following January.
Meanwhile, Lemar joined Atletico Madrid in 2018, for a fee the Guardian reported was £52.7 million – where he has failed to hit the heights.
But Lemar would have been an exciting signing for Arsenal, on another level to any of the wingers they have now and likely a better option than Mkhitaryan, who ended up being Sanchez’s direct replacement.
It was a sliding doors moment for Arsenal, who came so close to having the French international in their ranks.