Arsene Wenger is totally convinced that Arsenal‘s impending capture of Thomas Lemar can persuade Kylian Mbappe to snub a host of European giants and move to north London instead.
Reports emerged on Tuesday night that the Gunners are closing in on a £30 million deal for the 21-year-old winger, despite the absence of Champions League football next season.
The transfer could be competed by the end of next week and would be a serious mark of intent, with Lemar linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham.
But beyond his obvious talent – he scored nine league goals and provided a further 10 assists last season – Wenger believes he can serve an even more important purpose.
According to Goal.com, the veteran manager is convinced that Lemar’s arrival would be the final push Mbappe needs to choose Arsenal.
Kylian Mbappe’s Ligue 1 stats 2016/17
The teenager is Europe’s most in-demand player, wanted by Real Madrid and PSG, while Monaco have offered him a 900 per cent wage increase to stay.
But Wenger has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and pull off the biggest coup of his illustrious career, and was even spotted in the south of France with Ivan Gazidis.
According to recent reports, Wenger has made contact with both Mbappe and his family, while he feels the 18-year-old’s support of the club as a child – and Thierry Henry especially – gives Arsenal an advantage over other suitors.
He has also offered to build the Arsenal team around Mbappe, something no other club can do, and the youngster is known to fear being stuck on the Real bench during a World Cup year.
That promise would be further underlined by the arrival of Lemar, who worked so well in tandem with Mbappe last season as Monaco won the Ligue 1 title.
Lemar’s 2016/17 season
Goals – 14
Assists – 17
The pair are believed to get on extremely well on and off the pitch, and Mbappe could be tempted to make the switch if his team-mate is already at the Emirates.
He won’t come cheap though, with Monaco demanding in excess of €130m (£115m) for a player who has made just 58 first-team appearances in his career.
The potential double arrival of Mbappe and Lemar would also prompt serious questions about the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, with Arsenal unlikely to be able to have all four players in their squad.