Neymar’s world record £198million move to Paris Saint Germain could spell bad news for Arsenal, as Barcelona consider entering the race for Thomas Lemar.
Arsene Wenger has made the Monaco forward one of his top targets for the summer transfer window, and has already seen an initial offer of £30million rejected last month. The Gunners are expected to return with an improved bid, but they are sure to face competition for the player.
Not only have Premier League rivals Liverpool been credited with an interest in taking the 21-year-old this month, but it is now being suggested by Sky Sports that Barcelona are considering making a move for his signature as they look to find an able replacement for the brilliant Neymar.
The Brazil star completed a world record move to Paris last week, and head coach Ernesto Valverde is determined to bring in a top-quality replacement as his side look to wrestle the title from Real Madrid. Philippe Coutinho is their top choice, but luring him from Anfield could prove to be difficult.
The former Inter Milan midfielder penned a new five-and-a-half year contract on Merseyside just last January, and although he is said to be interested in making the move to the Catalan giants ahead of the new season, Jurgen Klopp continues to insist that the 25-year-old is not for sale at any price.
This could force Barca to look elsewhere, with Lemar understood to be a prime option. This could spell bad news for Arsenal, who are desperate to return to the top-four in the Premier League and again compete in the UEFA Champions League next season and see the Monaco star as a key addition.
Wenger has broken the club’s transfer record to sign Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon this summer, but other than that, only free transfer fullback Sead Kolasinac has been added since last season. He does have cash to spend, though, and he may have to loosen the purse-strings pretty rapidly.
It would take at least £40million to persuade Monaco to sell Lemar, who has already started the campaign having played as the Ligue 1 champions beat Toulouse 3-2. But with Barca now having at least £198million at their disposal, Wenger may have to be at his persuasive best to land his top target.