Barcelona turned their attention towards AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar on transfer deadline as a backup plan for their Coutinho chase. Reports from the Daily Mirror claimed that the Catalans had plans of going for Thomas Lemar in case of their failure to land Philippe Coutinho. However, it looks like both the proposed moves have failed to materialise.
It was expected that Barcelona would pursue Philippe Coutinho even after their dozens of attempts were brushed off. It all started with the Blaugranas offering a massive £72million for the Brazilian which faced an outright rejection. Soon a second bid in the region of £90million followed, but to no effect for the second time running. A third bid of £118million was rejected as well, and it all indicated how strong we were in our stand of holding on to Coutinho.
Having sold Neymar for £200million, Barcelona indeed weren’t short of capital, but Liverpool were reluctant to lose their prized possession. The Catalans were rightly expected to lodge a last minute attempt for Coutinho, but they decided not to do so.
In the midst of all this, the Reds were credited with a strong interest in AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. The Reds reportedly made a £55.5m for the Frenchman but were rejected immediately. The Telegraph then claimed that a second bid of £64.6million was rejected as well.
On the deadline day, however, reports emerged that Arsenal reignited their interest in Lemar and with the prospect of Alexis Sanchez’s exit looming large, they made a £92m offer for the Frenchman which reportedly got accepted. But to everyone’s surprise, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague claimed that the Gunners pulled themselves out of the deal.
As it stands, Arsenal pull out of Lemar negotiations. So Alexis, much to his pain, stays. Will there be more twists? #DeadlineDay
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 31, 2017
Eventually, Coutinho stayed put and so did Alexis Sanchez. Just some hours after the window got shut, Guillem Balague went on to claim that Liverpool were never interested in signing Lemar, the rumours only sparked from the Frenchman’s camp.
“My understanding is that everything that has been written on Lemar going to Liverpool is from the Lemar side, not the Liverpool side,” said Balague.
“Liverpool have never been that interested in this market. They are not going to get him now. Liverpool have said from day one that they are not selling Coutinho, and they have told him that.
“Barcelona and Coutinho’s people are finally getting the message.”
Lemar, on his part, finally broke the silence and soon after France’s thumping 4-0 victory over Netherlands, he said,
“I am a player of Monaco, I am very happy there,” Lemar told Canal + while on international duty.
“Now I’m going to make a good season with my club, to try to progress and move forward in my career with Monaco. I prepared for this game as usual. I do not lose my head, even if there are rumours. I was focused on my game, that’s all that mattered to me.”
It was all jumbled up there, wasn’t it. Barcelona have signed Ousmane Dembele as Neymar’s replacement but haven’t actually got anyone who can fill the boots of Andres Iniesta. Reports claimed that Barcelona were eyeing Lemar for over a month but preferred to make a move for Nice’s Jean Seri. Although the player agreed to join Barca, the French outfit canceled the deal in no time.
It was a transfer saga of chaos and the winner of the battle of transfers between Liverpool and Barcelona seems to be the Reds as Coutinho has stayed put. Though we couldn’t sign Lemar, I don’t think it will be a bite for us as we have enough fire power in our attack.
Poor Barcelona seem to have been struck a blow by Liverpool, and a big one that!