Arsenal reportedly believe they could miss out on Thomas Lemar's capture if AS Monaco draw a line in the sand regarding player sales this summer.
BBC Sport's David Ornstein relayed the details:
David Ornstein @bbcsport_david
Arsenal growing less optimistic of signing Lemar. Still trying but other Monaco exits reduce chances. Intention remains to keep Sanchez #AFC2017-7-17 06:47:24
Ornstein reported that with Tiemoue Bakayoko's departure to Chelsea and Benjamin Mendy's expected move to Manchester City, who have already snapped up Bernardo Silva from the Ligue 1 champions, Monaco may resist parting with any more stars.
Lemar, 21, had an outstanding campaign last year, per Squawka Football:
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
Squawka Football added that in terms of both chances created and assists, the winger produced more than any of his team-mates.
The Frenchman would add yet more quality to Arsenal's options in the final third, and he would be an upgrade on the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi.
He could also make for a strong candidate to replace Alexis Sanchez, albeit he is not yet at the same level as the Chilean, particularly in terms of goalscoring.
Per the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, Lemar's capture would indicate Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is expecting to lose one of his current forwards:
Jeremy Wilson @JWTelegraph
Arsenal's new system allows 3 forwards. They currently have 7 and still want Lemar. Whatever he says, Wenger surely preparing for outs too2017-7-12 11:24:59
He's hoping to keep hold of Sanchez, however, and he will offer the winger a new deal worth £275,000 per week, according to The Sun's Mike McGrath.
Keeping the South American will arguably be the best piece of business Arsenal can conduct this summer as he's a cut above his team-mates, with the possible exception of Mesut Ozil.
However, the difficulty they face in convincing Monaco to part with Lemar could make the task of replacing Sanchez trickier, making the need to keep the Chilean even more pressing.