Thomas Lemar could join Arsenal next year - Monaco chief

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  • Monaco winger Thomas Lemar attracted interest from England last season
  • Liverpool showed an interest but it was Arsenal who were closest to signing him
  • However, club vice-president Vadim Vasilyev admits it is an issue they will revisit
  • Vasilyev did not close the door on the possibility of Lemar leaving in January 

By Glen Williams For Mailonline

Published: 03:02 EDT, 13 October 2017 | Updated: 05:11 EDT, 13 October 2017

Thomas Lemar came 'really close' to leaving Monaco for Arsenal this summer and it could well be something the club have to revisit next year, vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has admitted.

The French champions lost eight players during the summer window and Arsenal, along with Liverpool, were circling for the gifted winger.

But after protracted interest from both Premier League giants, a deal never came to fruition. 

Thomas Lemar could still make a move to Arsenal next year, Monaco's vice-president has said
Thomas Lemar could still make a move to Arsenal next year, Monaco's vice-president has said

Thomas Lemar could still make a move to Arsenal next year, Monaco's vice-president has said

The France international was subject of interest from both Arsenal and Liverpool this summer
The France international was subject of interest from both Arsenal and Liverpool this summer

The France international was subject of interest from both Arsenal and Liverpool this summer

However, Vasilyev concedes that the Stade Louis II outfit could still stand to lose the France international next year if Arsene Wenger ramps up his interest — especially with the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil yet to be tied down.

'Liverpool were really interested,' Vasilyev told Sky Sports. 'But it was Arsenal that was really close to finalising the deal. 

'It was quite close. At the same time it was just too late, not enough time to really follow up on this deal.

'Not all the elements of the puzzle fell in place. I'm very happy he stayed with us. For us, we need a player like Thomas Lemar. He's very important to our team.

'Definitely next summer [it] will be something to look at, although you know in football there are no guarantees.

With Alexis Sanchez's future at Arsenal uncertain, Arsene Wenger could revisit the option
With Alexis Sanchez's future at Arsenal uncertain, Arsene Wenger could revisit the option

With Alexis Sanchez's future at Arsenal uncertain, Arsene Wenger could revisit the option

And Vadim Vasilyev did not close the door on the possibility of Lemar leaving in January
And Vadim Vasilyev did not close the door on the possibility of Lemar leaving in January

And Vadim Vasilyev did not close the door on the possibility of Lemar leaving in January

'We had some players who were supposed to leave this summer but didn't leave because of X, Y, Z. I think it would be fair to say Thomas will have a fair chance to an exit next year.

'January? In football, never say never, but this is not what we're thinking of, this is really not in our plans.

'Then we have to wait and see how the team does in different competitions, if we have an interest in him and what his ambitions after the World Cup are. January doesn't seem like the right time for major changes in the team.'

Despite the outgoings of key players such as Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko — all to Premier League clubs — they managed to keep hold of right back Fabinho, who was courted by Manchester United this summer.

But Vasilyev also hinted that the Brazilian could be in his final season in the French Principality, should the right offer come in.

Vasilyev also hinted that Fabinho could be in his final season in the French Principality
Vasilyev also hinted that Fabinho could be in his final season in the French Principality

Vasilyev also hinted that Fabinho could be in his final season in the French Principality

'He (Fabinho) is one of the key players in our squad, a very regular player,' he added. 'He's very important, we can always count on him.

'We are very happy that we managed to keep him. I think this is one player you want to keep forever.

'But we realise in Monaco that we have a certain model, that at a certain moment when we feel it's right we have to let players go in order to be successful again.

'This is not only about money — this is more about being successful.' 

Jasper Ray
By Jasper Ray 13/10/2017 05:11:00