Saturday 24 March 2018

Guardiola to pip rivals by landing Lemar

Thomas Lemar. Photo: PA
Thomas Lemar. Photo: PA

Matt Law

Manchester City are ready to land another blow on their Premier League rivals by launching a bid to sign Monaco's Thomas Lemar.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have been tracking Lemar, but City are preparing to jump the queue for the France international.

The news, together with the fact City are expected to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, will heighten fears among those trying to keep up with Pep Guardiola's side that they will be uncatchable for years.

City tried to sign Alexis Sanchez and Riyad Mahrez in January, as Guardiola wants another forward who can play off the flank to add to his squad.

Eden Hazard is high on Guardiola's list of targets, but Chelsea are adamant the Belgian will not be sold to City. That is likely to result in City turning their attention to 22-year-old Lemar, who is expected to leave Monaco to the highest bidder in the summer.

Arsenal failed with a £90m offer last year, while Liverpool had at least one bid turned down. Reports in France have claimed Liverpool are pushing to find an agreement in principle over Lemar, but no deal is thought to be close and City could step in.

With two years remaining on his Monaco contract at the end of this season, it is unclear whether or not City will have to match or better the £90m Arsenal put up.

Since joining from Caen in 2015, Lemar, who is left-footed but can play on either side or through the middle, has made 107 appearances for Monaco and scored 22 goals.

Guardiola last week revealed that he was looking to make only one or two signings this summer, with Fred thought to be one of them.

© The Daily Telegraph, London

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