According to L'Equipe (h/t Sport Witness), the Gunners' first offer for the player of €40 million (£35 million) plus bonuses has been turned down.
In the piece, it’s suggested Arsenal have the most significant interest in the France international, although Monaco are keen to extend the player’s contract beyond its current 2020 expiry date.
However, as noted by Sport Witness on Twitter, it doesn’t seem as though the player is keen to sign fresh terms:
Sport Witness @Sport_Witness
But Monaco don't want to sell and have 'so far' rejected the €40m+bonuses from Arsenal. They want a renewal, Lemar's entourage not so keen.2017-6-29 07:15:01
The interest in Lemar is understandable, as he’s just completed a tremendous breakthrough season with the Ligue 1 side.
Deployed on the left of midfield in Leonardo Jardim’s ultra-attacking outfit, the 21-year-old has left so many defenders dazzled. Lemar is so difficult to pin down, regularly darting infield, picking the ball up in space and driving forward into dangerous positions.
Although he may not be the most physically imposing of footballers, the Frenchman has the tools needed to thrive in the Premier League. Arsenal supporters would love to see him plying his trade at the Emirates Stadium.
These numbers from Squawka Football show why:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Thomas Lemar's 2016/17 Ligue 1 season by numbers: 84% pass accuracy 72 chances created 45 take-ons completed 10 assists 9 goals 🔥 https://t.co/btGFbI8S7C2017-6-28 22:28:00
The Gunners have options in the wide positions, where Lemar has typically plied his trade for Monaco. However, some at the Emirates have grown weary of the inconsistency showcased by the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott in these areas. An upgrade could kick Arsenal on.
Lemar would add a different dimension and is someone who will help refresh an area of the team that’s been occupied by familiar faces for a while.
Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph doesn’t see Monaco cashing in on too many of their star names this summer, though, having already parted ways with Bernardo Silva:
Jason Burt @JBurtTelegraph
Was told weeks ago that Monaco will not sell Bakayoko and Lemar in same window. So Chelsea's Bakayoko deal may kill Arsenal's Lemar chances2017-6-28 16:14:01
For the player himself, the prospect of a move to the Premier League must a tempting one. Additionally, for a Frenchman, learning from a coach like Arsene Wenger would be an exciting next step in his career, although Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has also proved himself an expert in developing youngsters.
Still, Monaco may well decide to dig their heels in here, having already rejected an offer from the Gunners. And for Lemar, remaining at the home of the French champions and UEFA Champions League semi-finalists would be no bad thing at all.