Chelsea recently joined Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in the Thomas Lemar rumor mill, reportedly ready to offer an eye-watering sum of £80 million for the Monaco midfielder’s signature this January.
However, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev decided to throw a bucket of cold water on everyone's fiery hopes of signing the 22-year-old.
“Departures of important players are not on our agenda. We have never talked about [with Lemar’s representatives] the possibility of a departure in January.”
-Vadim Vasilyev; Source: L'Equipe via Inside Futbol
Monaco have come back down to earth this season after last year’s magnificent campaign (and after letting multiple key players leave for substantial transfer fees, including Tiemoue Bakayoko), currently sitting nine points behind PSG in the league and already out of Europe thanks to a fourth-place finish in their Champions League group.
If and when they do decide to let Lemar leave, they can use the funds generated to make Michael Emenalo’s job of rebuilding their team even easier. But that probably will have to wait until the summer.
In the meantime, perhaps Chelsea can find a cheaper option to reinforce the left side of the attack, though these days who knows what counts as good value in the transfer market...