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Premier League Powerhouses Lining Up for Monaco Youngster Thomas Lemar

A top-notch betting site like William Hill will tell you that Manchester City are nearly a sure thing to win the Premier League this season, but that won’t stop some of their competitors from trying to beef up their respective squads. While the Citizens may breeze to another league title, a few of the other big clubs in England are casting an eye toward Ligue 1 for a potential reinforcement.

According to the Telegraph, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are geared up to do battle over Monaco’s outstanding young attacker, Thomas Lemar. The article says that Chelsea are willing to fork over a large sum of cash in order to procure Lemar’s rights from Monaco once the transfer window opens in January.

Lemar was rumored to be interested in a move to England over the summer, but Monaco refused to sell the 22-year-old. The defending French champions rejected a bid of £72 million from Liverpool, and a move by Arsenal on deadline day never materialized. The Gunners would have put forth a massive offer for Lemar had Alexis Sanchez moved to Manchester City, but that deal fell through.

Following a summer that saw several of their best talent shipped out of town, Monaco have slipped to third in Ligue 1, a distant 9 points back of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain. Monaco also failed miserably in the Champions League, as they finished bottom of Group G behind the likes of Besiktas, Porto and RB Leipzig.

As a result of their early-season struggles, Monaco have reportedly softened their stance on selling Lemar. According to the Telegraph, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are set to offer players in addition to cash in order to pry Lemar out of France.

Monaco are widely expected to sell Lemar to the highest bidder, though Chelsea’s offer to potentially include players in a deal could swing Monaco’s decision in favour of the Blues.

Adding Lemar would give Conte another versatile attacker. The Frenchman has shown the ability to lead the line or play behind a traditional striker like Alvaro Morata. In 15 total starts for club and country this season, Lemar has contributed a goal along with 3 assists.

Liverpool are a team to watch in the race for Lemar. If Philippe Coutinho leaves Anfield in January, the Reds could be motivated to bring in an immediate replacement. Lemar would certainly fit the bill, and his up-tempo style of play would be a perfect fit along the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for LFC. Lemar would not be eligible to play for the Reds in Champions League this season, however, as he is cup-tied to Monaco.

Even if Coutinho stays on Merseyside until the summer, Lemar could be brought in early as a potential long-term replacement.

If (when?) Arsenal lose Alexis Sanchez, Lemar also makes sense as a fill-in for Arsene

Wenger. It will also be interesting to see whether Lemar’s relative lack of form this season results in a discounted price tag if Monaco do ultimately decide to sell him in the winter.

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