Arsenal sealed a record breaking £52m deal for Alexandre Lacazette on Tuesday night – and then prepared to carry on spending.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is now plotting moves for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, with Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez a back-up option.
Mirror Sport can reveal that Monaco have quoted Arsenal a staggering £80m price tag for Lemar as they do not want to sell and that deal now seems increasingly unlikely unless a compromise can be reached.
That has opened the door for Arsenal to go for Mahrez who is keen on a switch to the Emirates with Leicester braced for an approach but no official bid has been made.
Wenger has already publicly admitted his admiration for Mahrez as Arsenal look to shake up the squad even after Lacazette’s arrival shatters the previous record set when they signed Mesut Ozil for £42.5m in 2013.
The 26-year-old Lyon striker completed a medical on Tuesday after agreeing a five year contract and is expected to be Arsenal’s top earner on £200,000-a-week.
He was introduced to his new team mates at the training ground and may join their pre-season trip to Australia and China.
Arsenal have now given up on Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe and the hope is that may ease the French club’s position on Lemar.
Arsenal signing Alexandre Lacazette will influence Alexis Sanchez’s decision to stay at club, says Nigel Winterburn.
But Arsenal are also waiting on the futures of Alexis Sanchez, Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud.
Sanchez and his representatives are due to hold talks with Arsenal this week and there is a growing fear that he is pushing for a move to Manchester City after refusing to commit to a new contract worth in excess of £275,000-a-week at the Emirates.
There is still an offer from China on the table for Sanchez which is understood to be worth more than double Arsenal’s contract and would be far higher than City could pay.
Arsenal remain defiant that they will not sell to a Premier League rival but with only City in the market – Chelsea may yet come back later on – they face a major dilemma whether to sell now or risk losing him for nothing next year.
Ozil is prepared to run down his contract as he wants £350,000-a-week while Oxlade-Chamberlain will not leave this summer but there is no agreement on a new deal in sight even though he only has a year left.
Everton and West Ham have made enquiries about Giroud but Arsenal are unlikely to allow him to go until Sanchez’s future is resolved.
Giroud is believed to favour a move back to France with Marseille watching developments or staying in London. West Ham are ready to offer £20m and give Giroud a four year deal worth £130,000-a-week.
Arsenal have told Hector Bellerin he is going nowhere despite Barcelona’s interest with Wenger insisting he has got six years left on his current deal and will not be sold under any circumstances.
Source: John Cross| Mirror