Liverpool have lowered their interest in Thomas Lemar and are unlikely to move in for the midfielder in the summer, giving Arsenal a clean run to sign the French international. The Reds were heavily interested in signing the 22-year-old since last August but the midfielder does not feature in their priority targets for the upcoming transfer window.
The Liverpool Echo reports that the Merseyside club were inclined to bring him to Anfield throughout the first half of this season but after Jurgen Klopp sanctioned the sale of Coutinho, the manager opted against making another attempt to sign him.
Lemar caught Liverpool's eye after bagging 14 goals and providing 17 assists as Monaco won the French title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. However, his contribution this term has been considerably less impressive with three goals and five assists in a campaign where Monaco have also flattered to deceive.
Speculation over his future is rife yet again after L'Equipe reported that he has turned down the offer for a new contract at Monaco, despite an offer to significantly increase his rather paltry £22,000-a-week earnings at the Ligue 1 champions.
Monaco are likely to soften their stance over Lemar in the summer following his decision to not renew his contract, opening the door for a host of clubs across Europe to express an interest. Arsenal were quite interested in Lemar as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez in the summer but the interest faded as Monaco refused to sell, forcing the Gunners to keep hold of the Chilean till January.
Sanchez eventually moved to Manchester United, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way. The Armenian had a brilliant start to life at the Emirates, with his second appearance yielding three assists as they thumped Everton 5-1 at the Emirates.
In Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal have two innately creative players in their squad with their long-term futures sorted at the club. With Ozil signing a new deal, it may change Arsene Wenger's approach in the summer transfer window, with another creative player unlikely to be on their recruitment plan for the window.