Liverpool remain ahead of Arsenal in race to sign Thomas Lemar (Independent)

Liverpool remain ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Thomas Lemar with the Monaco star still set on a move to Anfield, according to The Independent.

The 22-year-old alerted both Premier League clubs when he turned down a new deal with the Ligue 1 outfit on Wednesday, which makes a move in the upcoming summer transfer window much more likely.

Liverpool remain cash rich after the £142million sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last month and they are expected to renew their interest in Lemar after seeing a £78million bid rejected last summer.

Arsenal, meanwhile, agreed a £90m fee with Monaco only for the player to reject a deadline day deal. That decision also saw Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester City collapse, but the Chilean has since left and been replaced by Arsene Wenger.

The arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January means Arsenal are likely to focus on other areas of their team this summer with a new centre back likely to be a top priority.

That is a further boost to Liverpool’s chances when it comes to Lemar, who already prefers a move to Merseyside to work under Jurgen Klopp above all else.

The France international still has two years to run on his current Monaco contract, but his refusal to extend is likely to harm their negotiating position.

Indeed, once a player dips into the final two years of his deal, the pressure to cash in starts in earnest.

Lemar has scored three goals and contributed five assists in 22 appearances for Monaco so far this season, a marked decline on the 12 goals and 14 assists he contributed last term.

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