Manchester United will reportedly make a move for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar in the final stages of the transfer window.
According to Duncan Castles of the Daily Record, the Red Devils have given up their chases for Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. The chances of signing Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic are also said to be fading.
"Lemar, who has been aggressively pursued by Arsenal for the duration of the summer transfer window, was added to [United manager] Jose Mourinho's list of attacking targets as Inter continue to price Perisic out of a move to the English Premier League," reported Castles, who added the French champions value the 21-year-old at €60 million (£55 million).
Lemar was brilliant for Monaco last season, as the Ligue 1 side marched to the title playing an enterprising and entertaining brand of football.
Although Bernardo Silva, Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao grabbed a lot of headlines, the young France international was just as vital to their potency, grabbing 14 goals and 17 assists in all competitions.
Lemar turned in some fantastic performances on the left flank. As Tom Coast of Sport Witness noted, what made his displays even more impressive was the fact he was playing in a position he doesn't consider to be his best:
Tom Coast @thcoast
Like Fabinho, Lemar was put in a new position by Jardim to help out the team and excelled. He sees himself more as an attacking midfielder.2017-8-17 13:02:24
The youngster was thrilling to watch nonetheless. Lemar benefited from Benjamin Mendy's relentless raids forward from left-back, finding space, driving at defences and getting pinpoint deliveries into dangerous areas.
After losing Silva, Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, you sense there will be some reluctance on Monaco's part to let Lemar go. However, United have the financial might to test their resolve.
Marca's Chris Winterburn believes United have eyed a particular profile of player for their left flank and that Lemar fits the bill:
Chris Winterburn @cmwinterburn
@DuncanCastles is a very natural winger and fits the bill. Great assist record last term. Interesting to see if this develops as ASM seemed set not to sell2017-8-17 12:43:13
In the opening game of the 2017-18 Premier League season, the Red Devils started with Marcus Rashford on the left wing, although you sense his future lies at centre-forward. Consequently, it feels as though there would be a spot available for Lemar should he decide to make the move.
Monaco will not want to lose another key man, though. Often, there is little that can be done when some enormous names in European football are keen on landing your players, and the Ligue 1 champions have suffered because of that this summer.
With their bank balance boosted through other sales, though, it's clear it would take a massive offer from the Red Devils before the principality club even pondered a sale.