Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits a deal to sign Monaco's Thomas Lemar is "dead" but that a raft of players could yet leave and arrive at The Emirates Stadium in the final week of the summer transfer window. The Gunners have been linked with a £80m move for the France international but a deal now appears unlikely given the Ligue 1 champions' staggering valuation of the midfielder.
Monaco have already lost Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva to Manchester City, while Tiemoue Bakayoko has joined Chelsea. Teenage striker Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho are also being linked with moves away from the principality club.
And Wenger says the stream of departures means Arsenal's pursuit of Lemar, 21, has been in vain. "It's dead because Monaco has closed the door definitely," the Frenchman told the media ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool, according to Sky Sports. "They lost already Mendy, Silva and Bakayoko - and are still on the cases of Mbappe and Fabinho. Monaco have closed the door."
Though Wenger believes players could still join Arsenal in the remaining days of the transfer window he concedes the current size of his squad will see certain individuals depart. Uncertainty continues to surround the future of Alexis Sanchez; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is being linked with a £35m move to Chelsea while Inter Milan have made an offer to sign Shkodran Mustafi.
There are also no guarantees over Jack Wilshere's future after he was sent off while playing for the Arsenal Under-23's and Lucas Perez is set to return to Deportivo La Coruna 12 months on from moving to north London. Wenger is content with the resources at his disposal but has not ruled out further activity.
"[I am] completely happy with strength of squad and I have too many players, some with no chance to compete for places," he added. "One of the values of this club is to give a chance to young players, and if you have too many players of confirmed status you are in a difficult position. We have three or four [young players] who deserve a chance. Both [ins and outs] can happen. In the last days you are on alert. People are agitated, phones ring more."