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Arsenal are preparing to make a formal bid for AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, who has been linked with a Premier League move in recent months.
This is according to reports in France’s Le10 Sport, who believe that the 21-year-old is seen as a possible long-term replacement to fill the void that could be left by Alexis Sánchez.
No transfer fee has been discussed yet, although Lemar is valued at around £25m and this figure is likely to only rise with time, unless Arsenal act quickly and avoid being usurped by London rivals Tottenham.
Alexis is yet to sign improved terms and only has twelve months remaining on his existing deal with the Gunners, meaning he’d be free to negotiate offers with clubs in January on a pre-contract if nothing is finalised before then.
Lemar, who scored 14 goals and created 17 more assists across all competitions last season, is said to be considering the possibility of a move to England, meaning that contract talks with Monaco have stalled whilst he decides his future.
He’s still got three years remaining on his existing deal and any new extension would be an effort to drive up their asking price at a later date.
The fact that the Gunners will not be competing in next season’s UEFA Champions League has been highlighted as a key factor which could influence Lamar’s decision, although it is likely to only be for one season.
If they can persuade him to join, his arrival could prompt more summer acquisitions at the Emirates this year.