Leonardo Jardim Talks Potential Thomas Lemar Exit Amid Arsenal, Liverpool Links

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2018

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 07: Thomas Lemar of Monaco and coach Leonardo Jardim of Monaco gestures during the UEFA Champions League match between Bayer Leverkusen and AS Monaco at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany on December 7, 2016. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim has said the club may be open to selling reported Arsenal and Liverpool target Thomas Lemar in the January transfer window.

According to David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, the two Premier League sides are seriously interested in the France international, who is valued at around £90 million by his club.

Speaking about Lemar, Jardim said it would be tough for the Ligue 1 champions to turn down a huge offer. 

"You know how crazy the market can be," he said, per Robin Bairner of Goal. "Things can happen that even a club like Monaco can't say no to. It happened at Liverpool. The figures today are very high. Everything can change very quickly. What I tell you today can be different tomorrow."

Monaco's Portuguese head-coach Leonardo Jardim looks on during the French Cup Football match between Yzeure abd Monaco at the Bellevue stadium in Yzeure, central France, on January 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / THIERRY ZOCCOLAN        (Photo credit should read T
THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/Getty Images

However, Jardim added: "If I stayed here for 10 years, I'd want Lemar to stay with me for 10 years."

As noted by Sky Sports News' Bryan Swanson recently, Monaco are reportedly not willing to let Lemar go:

With Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool to join Barcelona for a fee of £142 million, speculation about the Reds signing Lemar has intensified again.

Arsenal were also linked with a transfer in the summer. According to Sky Sports, the Gunners lodged a staggering £92 million offer at the end of the previous window in an attempt to sign the 22-year-old.

Lemar has been chased by Arsenal and Liverpool.
Lemar has been chased by Arsenal and Liverpool.ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/Getty Images

The interest in Lemar is a testament to his talent. He established himself as a key man in the Monaco side, helping the team land the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17. 

This season has been a little tougher for the midfielder, although as we can see courtesy of Squawka Football, he's beginning to find some form again:

With so much money recouped from the sale of Coutinho, it'd be no surprise if Liverpool reignited their interest in the player.

After all, Monaco showed they were willing to cash in on their brightest stars for the right price in the summer, with Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy all moving on. If a big offer came in for Lemar, you sense they'd be tempted to do the same.

For Liverpool, the Frenchman would fill a creative void that Coutinho's departure has left.

Journalist Jack Lusby suggested getting Lemar would be a step forward for the Reds:

Arsenal appeared to show the most serious interest in the forward last summer, and Liverpool may not have a clear run at the midfielder as a result.

The Gunners may be close to losing two key attacking stars, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both out of contract at the end of the campaign. Arguably their need to sign the player would outstrip Liverpool's if both of those players were to leave the Emirates Stadium. 

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