Arsenal and Liverpool both wanted to sign Thomas Lemar in the summer, according to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
Lemar was courted by both Premier League clubs in last summer’s transfer window, with the Gunners lodging a £92million bid.
The offer was made too close to the deadline for the deal to be completed however, and so Lemar remained in France.
Liverpool were also linked with the winger in August, but Monaco were reluctant to lose yet another one of their title-winning players.
Vasilyev says Arsenal were closer to signing the 21-year-old, and that a deal could be resurrected in January or next summer.
“Liverpool were really interested,” Vasilyev told Sky Sports News. “But it was Arsenal that was really close to finalising the deal.
“It was quite close. At the same time it was just too late, not enough time, to really follow up on this deal. Not all the elements of the puzzle fell in place. I’m very happy he stayed with us. For us, we need a player like Thomas Lemar. He’s very important to our team.
“Definitely next summer will be something to look at, although you know in football there are no guarantees. We had some players who were supposed to leave this summer but didn’t leave because of X, Y, Z. I think it would be fair to say Thomas will have a fair chance to an exit next year.
“January, in football, never say never, but this is not what we’re thinking of, this is really not in our plans.
“Then we have to wait and see, how the team does, in different competitions, if we have an interest in him, and also his ambitions after the World Cup. January doesn’t seem like the right time for major changes in the team.”