Arsenal are continuing to pursue the signings of Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe this summer, with the Monaco duo heading Arsene Wenger’s shortlist of transfer targets.
Lemar is the priority for the Gunners after the addition of Alexandre Lacazette as a new striker in a club-record transfer, though interest is retained in Mbappe should Arsenal be given any encouragement over a possible deal.
But having brought Lacazette to the club already this summer, the primary focus for Arsenal now is to sign a supporting attacker, with Lemar fitting the bill due to his versatility.
The Gunners accept that Mbappe could end up at either PSG or Real Madrid this summer or stay at Monaco before completing what is considered an inevitable transfer to the Bernabeu.
It would require a world-record bid to sign the 18-year-old, but Wenger had been confident of a deal given the player’s admiration for the Gunners boss and with Arsenal dangling the carrot of regular first-team football.
Buying Lemar appears a more straightforward proposition, though Monaco have digged their heels in during negotiations in recent weeks with two bids of £30m and £40m rejected by the Ligue 1 winners for their left winger.
With Bernardo Silva having already departed for Manchester City and the likes of Fabinho, Benjamin Mendy, Mbappe and Lemar all targets for various clubs across Europe, Monaco are keen to avoid a firesale and has led to a toughened stance on Lemar.
Both Lemar and Mbappe were filmed by Monaco undergoing fitness tests at the club’s training ground as they reported for pre-season training.
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Mbappe was asked about his condition following his summer break and the Arsenal target simply replied: “I feel good. I always feel good.”
There does not appear to be an imminent resolution on their respective futures, but Arsenal fans will hope either player will soon be undergoing medical tests ahead of a possible transfer to the Emirates.