Transfer Rumour: AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar attracting interest from Chelsea and Manchester City
The young midfielder has been in scintillating form for Monaco which has caught the interest of top European sides.
What’s the story?
Chelsea are looking to sign AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar in the summer transfer window, according to reports in the French publication L’Equipe. The 21-year-old is one of the most highly rated midfielders in the world, having scored 14 goals for the Ligue 1 club since making his debut for them in 2015.
Antonio Conte’s side, though, are not the only club interested in signing him. The same report claims Chelsea’s league rivals Manchester City, Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, Italian champions Juventus and Atletico Madrid are also in the race for his signature.
According to Transfermarkt, Lemar’s contract with his current employers will run down in 2020. Monaco want to tie down their midfielder to a new deal, but the club and the player have put contract talks on hold and that has allowed potential suitors to make an approach for the 21-year-old.
In case you didn’t know...
Lemar started his playing career with his hometown club, Solidarité-Scolaire, a club based in Guadeloupe. After spending seven years with them, he joined Caen’s youth team in 2010. The midfielder developed his game with the youth team before being promoted to their first team three years later.
His form for Caen attracted interest from Monaco and the latter signed Lemar in the summer of 2015 for a reported fee of £3 million. Having featured for France at all youth levels, Lemar made his senior team debut in November 2016 against Ivory Coast.
The heart of the matter
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is an admirer of Lemar and is looking at the option of bringing him to Stamford Bridge in the summer. However, City’s Pep Guardiola are also keen on the midfielder and believe that Lemar would fit in seamlessly at the Etihad. The two Premier League clubs will face tough competition from other European clubs for the Monaco star’s signature.
Monaco, who signed him for £3 million, will accept nothing less than £30 million for the midfielder.
Lemar has already proved his worth in Ligue 1 and will now be looking to replicate the same with his national side. Chelsea, meanwhile, already have Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante, who have impressed in the centre of the pitch.
It remains to be seen whether Lemar can challenge the duo for a place in the starting lineup, if he decides to join the Blues. At City, he could be Yaya Toure’s long-term replacement and develop into one of the best midfielders in the world under Guardiola’s guidance. Lemar should be cautious while taking what could be a huge step in his career.
The Frenchman should snub advances from all the top clubs in Europe and continue with his current employers beyond the summer transfer window. He has age on his side and Monaco has provided him with the platform to further improve his game. He should wait for one more year before deciding on his future.