Reports: Barcelona set to beat Arsenal with stunning £55m bid for midfielder
Is he Barcelona's replacement for Neymar?
What’s the story?
Barcelona are currently filled with money to splash on their transfer targets following the world record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain only last week. The Blaugrana have the arduous task of replacing one of the best players in the world and their hunt is on.
The Catalan side have been linked with moves for Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe among other superstars, but according to Sky Sports, the Camp Nou outfit have entered the race for another AS Monaco sensation - Thomas Lemar.
The Frenchman had been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and the Gunners have reportedly had a couple of bids - in the region of £50m - rejected for the 21-year-old.
In case you didn’t know…
Thomas Lemar played an integral role in AS Monaco's Ligue 1 title triumph last year, as Leonardo Jardim's side usurped usual suspects Paris Saint-Germain to win the title for the first time in 17 years.
The Frenchman - who was mostly deployed as a left winger last season, is also equally adept at plying his trade in midfield - notched up 55 appearances for the Stade Louis II outfit last season, scoring 14 goals, while assisting another 17.
The heart of the matter
Lemar has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, with reports suggesting that Monaco have rejected a couple of bids from the Emirates outfit for their prized asset.
The Stade Louis II outfit were reportedly holding out for a fee in excess of £50m and it is expected that the Gunners are now prepared to match it but Monaco realize that Barcelona have the capability to outbid almost any club with the money that they currently have courtesy of the Neymar sale.
The Brazilian joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world record €222m deal earlier in August and has left a gaping hole in the Barcelona squad. The Catalan outfit are expected to use this money to address their midfield shortcomings while also enforcing their attack.
Barcelona entering the race to sign Thomas Lemar is definitely not good news for Arsenal, who have been haggling over the fee with Monaco for quite some time now.
The Camp Nou outfit's pursuit of the Frenchman is vindicated as he can help improve the squad while also providing quality in two departments. It remains to be seen where Ernesto Valverde plans to use the 21-year-old but first the club needs to agree on a fee with the Ligue 1 giants.