Thomas Lemar wanted to join both Arsenal and Liverpool, claims AS Monaco vice president

Vadim Vasilyev explains why a move to neither Premier League club materialised

Evan Bartlett
Monday 04 September 2017 16:55
Arsenal made a bid of £92m for Thomas Lemar before transfer deadline day
Arsenal made a bid of £92m for Thomas Lemar before transfer deadline day

Thomas Lemar was keen on a move to both Arsenal and Liverpool this summer, according to Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come in for criticism since failing to land Lemar on transfer deadline day, with reports suggesting the midfielder rejected a move to north London because he did not want to play in the Europa League.

However, Vasilyev has suggested this is not entirely true. Instead, Monaco and the player came to an agreement that he would not leave because his departure would damage the club too greatly.

Monaco had already sold four players who starred in their run to the Champions League semi-finals last season in the shape of Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

"It was not easy," Vasilyev said. "Thomas wanted to go to Arsenal and to Liverpool, but we had discussions and we took a joint 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."

Wenger had revealed Lemar rejected Arsenal’s offer in an interview with beIN Sports last week, but did not explain the player’s reasoning.

“The player has chosen to stay in Monaco,” Wenger said.

“You do not want to talk too much about... you have to respect what happens on the negotiation side.

“I know we live in the era of transprency but at some stage, to respect everybody you have to not talk too much about that.”

Wenger confirmed this weekend that Arsenal had made a bid of €100m (£92m) for the 21-year-old but had not been able to push the deal over the line.

The Frenchman insisted the club will chase the player’s signature again next year when the transfer window re-opens.

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