The numerous Premier League clubs interested in signing Thomas Lemar have been given encouragement by Monaco’s vice-president that a deal can be reached.
The France international was the subject of intense interest from Liverpool and Arsenal during the summer with the latter making a bid in excess of £90million.
No deal could be reached, with conflicting reports over why. It was suggested Lemar didn’t want to move to Arsenal but Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s vice-president, has revealed that the player was keen to move to the Premier League.
‘He wanted to go to the Premier League and I had a few discussions with him and I said ‘stay, stay, stay’ but, of course, when the offers were very, very high, higher than we initially expected then we had to talk, to discuss,’ said Vasilyev. ‘But in the end we were very happy.’
Lemar’s interest in a Premier League move will encourage those wanting to sign the 21-year-old, with reports that Tottenham and Chelsea are also keen on the forward.
In addition, Vasilyev has opened the door for a move next summer.
‘Liverpool were really interested,’ Vasilyev told Sky Sports when discussing the last transfer window. ‘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.’
Looking ahead to a future move for Lemar, Vasilyev said: ‘Definitely next summer will be something to look at, although you know in football there are no guarantees. 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.’
He added: ‘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 also his ambitions after the World Cup. January doesn’t seem like the right time for major changes in the team.’