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An eyebrow was raised when Arsene Wenger insisted it was “not true” that Thomas Lemar rejected a summer move to Arsenal, and that the winger instead simply chose to “stay in Monaco”.
To most people, that is indeed the same thing. But perhaps Wenger knew a little more than he was letting on. Maybe he knew Arsenal had agreed a deal ‘in principle’ with the France international.
And perhaps we are giving Wenger, Arsenal and the Daily Star all too much credit. The Star are claiming an exclusive that the Gunners have a £92million deal in place for Lemar.
The report states that the winger has been offered a five-year contract on £250,000 a week, and that the move, which would go through in January, would not rely on Alexis Sanchez being sold.
Also, ‘the club passed up on signing him for £60m earlier in the summer due to concerns over his commercial value’. Which is phenomenal if true.
Liverpool are thought to still be interested in Lemar, who ‘only has eyes‘ for them. Arsenal are trying their hardest to catch their gaze.
BAC, SACK AND CRACK
It is September 2017, and Bacary Sagna is the hottest free agent on the scene. That is Bacary Sagna, 34, and discarded by Manchester City at the end of last season.
According to L’Equipe, that has done nothing to put off potential suitors. They report that Sagna is close to returning to the Premier League, and has been spending plenty of time at his home in London. To be fair, he doesn’t have a job right now. What else is he supposed to do?
It is added that the right-back has already rejected Brighton (who hasn’t?), while Leicester and West Ham are interested. Also, he ‘almost signed’ for Chelsea. Which is cute.
The story says nothing of Sagna returning to Arsenal, which has been suggested by English outlets in articles citing ‘bookmakers’. Obviously.
First, Sporting Lisbon’s communications director accused West Ham of lying about making a bid for William Carvalho.
Then, West Ham threatened legal action against the Portuguese club.
Next, Sporting’s president branded West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan the ‘Dildo Brothers’.
West Ham then leaked emails apparently confirming they made an offer for Carvalho, with Sporting responding by saying they would report the club to FIFA.
Finally, the Hammers accused Sporting of “attention-seeking” over the matter. Elsewhere, a pot was commenting on the colour of a kettle.
Somehow, that is not the end. The Sun exclusively claim that West Ham will make a January move for midfielder Carvalho ‘despite a row over this summer’s failed deal’.
“Never say never,” a West Ham source tells them. The first one to quote the seminal 2010 classic by Justin Bieber, featuring Will Smith’s son Jaden, always wins the argument.
AND THE REST
Arsenal are also interested in signing Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller, 27, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus all keen on the Germany international… Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says he is hopeful Chelsea and Spain striker Diego Costa, 28, will return to the club in January… Lille turned down the chance to sign Netherlands international Vincent Janssen, 23, because coach Marcelo Bielsa had doubts about the Tottenham striker’s technique… Valencia considered a loan move for Tottenhammidfielder Moussa Sissoko, 28, during the summer but instead opted to sign 21-year-old Manchester Unitedplayer Andreas Pereira… Paris St-Germain forward Julian Draxler has told his Germany team-mates he wanted to join Barcelona in the summer. The 23-year-old was linked with Arsenal… Barcelona are interested in Marseille’s French attacker Maxime Lopez, 19… Hull City were close to signing Leicester City striker Ahmed Musa, 24, on loan on transfer deadline day.