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Arsene Wenger has affirmed the Premier League record bid of €100m (£92m) for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar on the transfer deadline day.
The French coach, who dubbed the 21-year-old ‘a complete player’, also revealed the North London club are planning to reignite their interest next year.
‘He decided to stay at Monaco,’ Wenger told Telefoot. ‘Did we make a €100m offer? Yes. Are we going to make another offer? Yes.
‘He is always ready to receive the ball, he is quite complete in both defence and attack.’
The 67-year-old tactician also petitioned UEFA to put a halt to Financial Fair Play regulations, claiming there is no point seeting a rule they cannot enforce. Wenger was a huge supporter when the regulations were put in place but is unconvinced by their lack of efficacy.
He said: ‘I wanted FFP initially, but now I think it should be scrapped. You shouldn’t have a rule that cannot be imposed.’
FFP is in the public eye at the moment due to the incredible spending of PSG, who are currently being investigated by UEFA after signing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe over the summer in world record deals.
Neymar arrived in France in a world record deal of £198m from Barcelona while Mbappe joined the Ligue one giants on an initial season-long loan with the agreement of joining permanently for £166m next summer, effectively taking their summer spending above £350m
The world record duo
Regardless of whether PSG went against FFP rules to sign Mbappe, Wenger insists the former Monaco youngster could justify the astronomical fee.
He said: ‘Mbappe could be the next Pele, there are no limits to how far he can go. We can already see the difference in the calls he makes [to receive the ball]. He scores but he also creates — only the very best players can do this.’
The Gunners were linked with a move for Mbappe before focusing their attention on Lemar, but cooled their interest in July after a bid of £50m was rejected by the Ligue 1 champions with Wenger later claiming their interest was ‘dead’.
Arsenal rekindled their interest few hours to the transfer deadline and finally came to an agreement with Monaco only for the player to inform them that he was not ready to leave France just yet.
The financial package would have almost doubled their current transfer record (£53m for Alexandre Lacazette) and broken the Premier League’s all-time record (£89m for Paul Pogba).
His decision also affected Manchester City who was unable to sign Alexis Sanchez when Wenger refused to let his star player go without a replacement in place.