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Waiting game

Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal WILL go back in for Monaco star Thomas Lemar in January

French international turned down the chance to move to the Emirates but the Gunners are prepared to come back with another £90+ bid

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal will attempt to break the British transfer record to sign Thomas Lemar.

The Monaco star turned down a £91m move to the Emirates on the final day of the window after Manchester City made their move for Alexis Sanchez.

Arsene Wenger admitted he will go back in for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar

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Arsene Wenger admitted he will go back in for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar

Thomas Lemar rejected a move to Arsenal in favour of staying at Monaco

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Thomas Lemar rejected a move to Arsenal in favour of staying at Monaco

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After confirming that Arsenal made the offer for Lemar, Wenger was asked whether he would make a second attempt in January.

He replied: “Also, yes. I think he’s a player who has an enormous availability – he’s always available on the pitch.

“It’s when you realise that he’s always ready to receive the ball, and he’s a very complete, balanced player who can defend. “You could see on the goal he scored that he is concerned with quality of the action.

“He didn’t focus on power, he focused on quality, so his action becomes a pure one, because he’s relaxed and at the same time focused on the technical gesture.”

Wenger also admitted that Kylian Mbappe’s transfer fee from Monaco to PSG – which resulted in a loan move ahead of a permanent transfer – saw Arsenal drop out of the reckoning.

Kylian Mbappe was also a target for Arsenal but they were priced out of a move

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Kylian Mbappe was also a target for Arsenal but they were priced out of a move

Asked on Telefoot in France whether he tried to sign Mbappe, Wenger said: “Yes. But 180 million is a bit high. For 90 per cent of players, their careers depend on the club they choose and where they are.

“But 10 per cent can go where they like. He is among those. All of his choices are good. I think he can be like Pele – there are no limits to his game.

“Why? Because he’s only 18 and he is going to gain in strength and when you see the difference he makes with his runs it’s enormous.

“And he has a balanced game for a forward in that he scores and he makes others score. The very best players do this.

Kylian Mbappe joined PSG on loan but they have an obligation to buy him for £166million at the end of the season

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Kylian Mbappe joined PSG on loan but they have an obligation to buy him for £166million at the end of the season

Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester City was scuppered because of Thomas Lemar

PA:Press Association
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Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester City was scuppered because of Thomas Lemar

“The best strikers are obsessed with scoring, and already at the age of 18 he is mature enough to know when to finish himself or when to help others finish.

“He has no limits. You can’t predict things exactly, but look at the aura of confidence and charisma he gives off in his interviews.

“You could never guess he’s 18, he sounds 24 or 25. He’s part of a generation that is mature very quickly and has the charisma required to handle the pressure. It depends on how far he wants to go.

“Is he capable of pushing himself all the time, it comes down to the endurance level of his motivation, which is something you can measure quite easily at 18.

“If he has that, he will go very, very far.”

Arsene Wenger revealed he tried to get both Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe

Getty - Contributor
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Arsene Wenger revealed he tried to get both Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe

PSG could be in hot water with Uefa over their deal with Mbappe and Wenger admitted he wants Financial Fair Play to be scrapped.

He added: “I was one of those who fervently asked for the creation of Financial Fair Play. But today I have reached the opposite conclusion.

“I think we should maybe think about getting rid of it altogether. Because there’s nothing worse than creating rules that can’t be respected.”

Arsene Wenger said he would go on holiday with Pep Guardiola

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Arsene Wenger said he would go on holiday with Pep Guardiola

On the TV show, Wenger also took part in a question and answer session.

Asked whether he could manager another club he said yes – and confirmed he had been contacted by PSG.

He ruled out ever managing France.

Asked whether he would go on holiday with Jose Mourinho, he said no – but claimed he would go on a trip with Pep Guardiola.

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