Arsenal have dropped out of the race to sign highly rated Liverpool target Thomas Lemar, according to reports on Wednesday.
The Monaco forward was heavily linked with a move to both Anfield and the Emirates on Deadline Day, with a reported £64.8 million bid from the Reds rejected.
A move failed to materialise for either club, and he remained with the Ligue 1 champions for the time being.
With Liverpool’s interest in Lemar, who turned 22 on Sunday, rumoured to be ignited again in January or next summer, they have received a boost in their attempts to lure him from Monaco.
“Liverpool and Barcelona are also eyeing the 22-year-old, whose representatives know they can demand a bigger contract as the chase hots up.”
The fact that Barcelona are the other club involved adds intrigue, given their much-publicised interest in Philippe Coutinho.
Funds at the Catalan club are low, and it is, therefore, difficult to see them being able to justify the purchase of both the Liverpool superstar and Lemar any time soon.
What this news does show is how Liverpool are steadily usurping Arsenal, with the Reds now seen as a more inviting club to join, and the Gunners not as confident about landing key targets.
Gone are the days of the north Londoners being guaranteed Champions League football every season, and Arsene Wenger’s increasingly stale reign isn’t helping matters.
You only have to look at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s decision to leave in favour of Liverpool to see who carries more clout currently.
Lemar would be an outstanding signing if the Reds ever did get a deal over the line, and he would help fill the void left by the potentially departing duo of Coutinho and Emre Can.