By Abigail Withey
Arsenal have emphatically decided to end their pursuit of Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar as Arsene Wenger will instead focus on offloading a number of fringe players, according to a recent report.
The Daily Mail has revealed that the Gunners gave up trying to bring the 21-year-old to the Emirates as the Ligue 1 title-holders looked unlikely to sell up until next summer.
The newspaper claims that now the north London club have given up on signing Lemar, it’s unlikely that Wenger will bring in any new players before deadline day at the end of August.
It is understood that the French manager will turn his attention to offloading a number of fringe players in order to reduce the club’s wage bill instead.
The report states that names like Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell are all on Wenger’s list to offload this summer but none have found a club to move to.
Both Gibbs and Perez were rumoured to make a transfer to St. James Park this summer but both deals fell through after Newcastle couldn’t afford the wages or price tag for the Arsenal duo.
Arsenal have had a successful run over the past few weeks with a victory against Chelsea in the Community Shield and a 4-3 win over former Premier League champions Leicester City in their opening game of the campaign.
Lemar was in hot form as he helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title last term as he scored 14 goals and supplied 17 assists in all competitions.
Football Insider verdict
Wenger looks to have made the right decision over Lemar as although he would’ve brought incredible talent to the club, along with that comes his £80million price tag which is completely extortionate. By holding off on the winger until maybe next summer and instead getting rid of any deadwood within the squad will ultimately make the current players stronger. Offloading a number of fringe players this summer is important in order to recoup some of the fees the club paid to Lyon for forward Alexandre Lacazette. Wenger must do this in order to avoid losing some of the players for free next summer when their contracts expire.
In other Arsenal transfer news, a report has detailed West Ham’s stance on this Gunners 25-year-old.