Thomas Lemar.

Monaco vice-president explains why Thomas Lemar really didn't join Arsenal

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Football News

If Arsenal were serious about signing Thomas Lemar, they probably should have made their move before Deadline Day.

The Gunners identified the French international as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, but as a move failed to materialise, the Chilean was ultimately denied the chance to join Manchester City.

It's been widely reported that the 21-year-old rejected a switch to north London because he wasn't interested in playing for a club who weren't in the Champions League.

Liverpool were the other Premier League club being heavily linked, with the suggestion being that Lemar would prefer to wait until next summer when he could have the chance to link up with Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds, of course, ended up splashing out on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instead.

However, the Lemar rumours may be wide of the mark, at least according to a man who will be very familiar with the negotiations.

Monaco's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has countered Arsene Wenger's claims that Lemar rejected Arsenal, telling Russian outlet TASS, per the Mirror:

"Thomas wanted to go to Arsenal and to Liverpool, but we had discussions and we took a communal decision so that he could stay here.

"He is a very important player for us. We could not have sold him, it would have affected the entire team and the individuals."

That's a very different version of events to what Wenger recently told Telefoot, quoted via the same source:

"Yes, we bid €100m for Lemar but the player wanted to stay in Monaco. Yes, we'll come back in for him."

It's hard to know who to believe when it comes to deals like this. Just look at Liverpool and Barcelona's war of words over Philippe Coutinho.

All that really matters is Lemar is still a Monaco player, which is huge for the Ligue 1 champions given that they've already lost Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, and Kylian Mbappe.

It's had huge ramifications for Sanchez too, as Arsenal didn't leave themselves enough time to find an alternative once it became clear they wouldn't be getting the winger.

Alexis Sanchez
AS Monaco

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