Thomas Lemar will not be available for sale in January, Monaco's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has confirmed. Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea were interested in his services according to reports but the statement from Monaco suggests that there will not be any further movement from a squad perspective before the end of the season.
Lemar has been linked with Chelsea ever-since his deadline day move to Arsenal collapsed in the summer. Liverpool are also an interested party in the France international who is valued at £90m ($120m), as reported by the Independent.
The Gunners launched a £90m ($120m) bid to try and sign 22-year-old Lemar on the final day of the summer transfer window as they looked to bring in a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who was then on the brink of joining Manchester City.
Liverpool followed suit with two bids for the Frenchman with 48 hours left on the clock but Monaco refused to sell under any circumstances, putting the transfer on hold. Vasilyev later confirmed interest from both sides – adding Arsenal were the closest to clinching a deal.
Lemar, who was also linked with a move to Barcelona last summer, was instrumental in Monaco's Ligue 1-winning campaign last season, scoring 14 goals and laying on 17 assists in all competitions.
But in the wake of a lengthy summer transfer saga, his form has suffered, scoring just once and providing three in 15 appearances, with Monaco's Champions League campaign over for Christmas and the club nine points adrift of Paris Saint-Germain in the French top flight. However, despite his form, Vasilyev is not considering any sort of movement in January.
"The sales of important players is not on the agenda. We have never spoken (to Lemar or his entourage) about the possibility of a January departure," Vasilyev said, as quoted by the Mirror.
Meanwhile, Monaco have recruited former Chelsea technical director Michael Emanelo to look after their transfer business and expects him to aid their squad like he has already proven with the Blues.
"I have known him for four years. Since the start, I had asked him to come here. He knows perfectly the football, he knows how to handle pros, stars," he added. "His investment in the Chelsea academy convinced me. Of course, there are not many academy players in the Chelsea first team but that is not the policy of the club.
"Michael won the Youth League at Chelsea (2015 and 2016). He is passionate about developing youngsters."