Thursday, 24 August 2017

Monaco ‘closed door’ on Lemar move to Arsenal – Wenger


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Monaco have “closed the door” on a move for Thomas Lemar but stressed that the Gunners could still make another signing before the window closes.

Arsenal have pursued midfielder Lemar throughout the summer, but saw at least two bids rebuffed by the French champions.

And Wenger told a news conference on Thursday: “It’s dead because Monaco have closed the door definitely.”


Arsenal have made only two signings this summer, a club-record move for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette and the arrival of Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer.

Wenger said: “It depends how many players will go to see if we can bring one more in. We are on alert in the last seven days.

“Everybody gets agitated and phones ring more often than before. Sometimes you have to share the work in the final day because you have some cases going out and some coming in. The last two days are always very hectic.”

But he stressed that he was “completely happy” with the squad as it stood and remained focused on trimming numbers in the final week of the window.

Arsenal have sold centre-back Gabriel Paulista, with striker Lucas Perez expected to leave and defenders Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy also looking for new destinations.

However, Wenger reiterated that he was determined to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amid reports that Chelsea have bid for the England international.

The manager refused to confirm whether an offer had been made but said Oxlade-Chamberlain had “a responsibility” to the club he has been with since his teens.

“I want him to stay and be one of the big players of the future of this club. He is one of the players this team has to be built around in the future,” Wenger said.

“I want to keep my best players. I only have one target: to keep everybody on board.

“I think we invested a lot of time, confidence and money on players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who we bought at a young age. For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club.

“I personally am highly determined to keep him here, and I hope he will commit.”

Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a move to Inter Milan in recent weeks, but Wenger said: “It’s difficult for me to speak about any individual cases because we are now in the final seven days of the transfer market.

“It’s always very difficult to predict what will happen there.”

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