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Barcelona Reportedly Enter the Race for Monaco's Thomas Lemar

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 15: Thomas Lemar of Monaco during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and AS Monaco (ASM) at Parc des Princes stadium on April 15, 2018 in Paris, . (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly asked Monaco how much it would cost to sign Thomas Lemar. 

According to Sport (via Goal), Chelsea and Atletico Madrid are also interested in the France international, whom Monaco value at between €70 million (£61 million) and €90 million (£79 million).

Sky Sport's Gianluca Di Marzio previously reported Atleti had opened negotiations with Monaco over the 22-year-old (via Get French Football News):

Get French Football @GFFN

Atletico Madrid are offering AS Monaco €60m for Thomas Lemar, who want €80m, according to @DiMarzio.

Lemar emerged as a top-class talent in 2016-17. He played a key role in Monaco's Ligue 1 title win and their run to that season's UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

The winger was heavily linked to both Arsenal and Liverpool last summer, and the Gunners even had a deadline day offer accepted to sign him, but the deal never went through, per Sky Sports News.

He remained at the Stade Louis II, and although neither he nor Monaco enjoyed quite as good a campaign in 2017-18 as the previous season, he is still widely regarded as one of the top young attackers in Europe.

Lemar is part of Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.

B/R Football @brfootball

OUT: Anthony Martial, Adrien Rabiot, Alexandre Lacazette IN: Nabil Fekir, Florian Thauvin, Steven N’Zonzi France name their 23-man squad for Russia! 🇫🇷 https://t.co/XArHLmH1jy

That could delay negotiations for any move, but it should also give Barca the time to lay the groundwork for an approach.

The Blaugrana squad is already awash with attacking talent. In the past year alone, the Camp Nou giants have spent more than £200 million on Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.

However, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are both in their 30s, and despite their ongoing brilliance, they are not going to be around forever.

Lemar is young and still has a number of years until he hits his peak.

He is versatile enough to operate in a number of attacking positions and deeper in midfield if need be, so he could be a fine long-term addition to the Barca squad.

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