Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will have to break the club transfer record for the second time this summer to rope in Thomas Lemar form Ligue 1 giants AS Monaco.
Wenger is keen on signing the 21-year-old winger but Ligue 1 champions Monaco have set an asking price of £80m for the French star in order to fend off clubs that are interested in securing his signatures this summer.
Wenger is confident that a deal can be completed – but for that he will have to offload the fringe players to fund the hefty asking price for Lemar.
Arsenal splurged £42.5m for Mesut Ozil in 2013 and now £52m to land Alexandre Lacazette earlier this month.
But now it is understood that Wenger will have to smash the club’s transfer record again to sign Lemar, who is keen on making a switch to Arsenal this summer.
However, Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco, who have already offloaded Bernardo Silva to Manchester City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea – do not want to sell too many of their stars this summer.
It seems that Monaco will tie down teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe amid huge interest from top-flight European clubs but they are set to face an uphill task in holding on to Lemar, with Arsenal having already launched two bids and are now plotting an improved offer for the French youngster.
But for matching Monaco’s asking price, Arsenal will have to sell fringe players – starting with Olivier Giroud, who has been linked with Everton but he could be set to move to Dortmund, who are keen on signing him to replace Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It is understood that Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Wojciech Szczesny and Carl Jenkinson are all set to part ways with the Gunners after they missed the club’s pre-season tour to Australia and the Far East to sort out their futures.
Meanwhile, unsettled striker Lucas Perez is all set to leave this summer – with former club Deportivo La Coruna in pole position to offer him an escape route.
Arsenal’s No2 keeper David Ospina was set to join Fenerbehce but now transfer talks between the two clubs have broken down – making it difficult for Arsenal to make way for new signings.
Arsenal are desperate to tie down their prized asset – Alexis Sanchez, who has made it clear because he wants Champions League football. Man City are in pole position to rope in the Chilean, but the Gunners are not willing to sell him to a Premier League rival, and Wenger would not want to release two forwards if Giroud leaves.
Calum Chambers looks set to leave on permanent transfer, having spent the last season on loan at Middlesbrough. Crystal Palace, West Brom and Leicester have shown huge interest in signing the 22-year-old English defender this summer.