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Top Arsenal target could leave next summer!

Arsenal target Thomas Lemar is likely to leave Monaco next summer the club has confirmed, but they have dismissed any possibility of him leaving in January.

The Gunners saw Lemar as their No.1 priority to replace Alexis Sanchez last summer, and had a bid of £92m accepted by the Ligue 1 champions. However, the deal failed to go through and both players stayed put.

Arsenal’s interest for the forward was matched by Premier League rivals Liverpool, but Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told Sky Sports news that the Gunners were ‘really close’ to finalising a deal.

“Liverpool were really interested,” Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s vice-president told Sky Sports News, in a wide-ranging interview. “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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Vasilyev also quashed reports that Monaco had made a formal offer for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in January.

“He’s a fantastic player but probably his salary is too much for us!” he said. “I didn’t check but I suspect it’s too much for us.”