Arsenal’s hopes of landing Thomas Lemar this summer look set to rest on how hard the player pushes Monaco for the move.
Arsene Wenger is pushing hard to sign the winger and has already seen two bids rejected by Monaco, with the second in the region of £40 million.
The Gunners are set to return with a third offer, one that will total close to £50m with add-ons, but they still may not be enough to tempt the Ligue 1 champions into doing business.
Monaco do not want to lose Lemar, having already sold several members of last season’s title winning squad – including Bernardo Silva to Manchester City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea.
Monaco are adamant the sale of Bakayoko will be the last of the summer, but despite their insistence Arsenal remain confident they can get a deal over the line.
But it’s looking increasingly likely that Lemar will have to start pushing hard for the transfer behind the scenes.
The player has already made it clear through advisories that he wants a switch to north London, with a five-year deal in the offing that would more than double the 21-year-old’s wages.
Lemar is keen to work with Wenger but is also mindful of going against Monaco, the team that has given him the platform to catapult himself into the France national team.
So it puts the player in a difficult situation with the new season rapidly approaching, similar to the one Hector Bellerin found himself in earlier in the summer when Barcelona came calling.
Speaking about Arsenal’s summer transfer business today, Wenger admitted the club remain very active in the market.
“There are two ways to strengthen the squad,” said the Gunners boss. “The first is to analyse where we have not done so well and where we can improve together, and the other way is to bring in players from outside.
“We are still open to strengthening our team with players coming from outside.
“We are very active on the transfer market and have already realised two incomings. We have to keep a balance as well, that you don’t destabilise the team too much by bringing in too many players.
“But we are still active on the transfer market so let’s see what kind of opportunities we can find.”