Arsene Wenger spent all summer trying to sign players from Monaco. But Kylian Mbappe went to PSG, Thomas Lemar stayed put and all their other star players moved to teams that could offer them Champions League football.
It was upsetting, but Wenger has not given up. Instead he has devised a new plan to sign players who used to play for Monaco before signing for the club they’re at now. It’s a clever workaround that means you can acquire players with that special Monaco glow without having to actually buy them from Monaco. And a young man who fits that bill perfectly is Anthony Martial.
The Sunday Mirror reports that Arsenal have identified the Manchester United (and former Monaco) forward as the guy to replace Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates.
The 21-year-old Frenchman cost the Red Devils somewhere between £36m and £61.5m, depending on how well you understand the add-on clauses in his contract, but Jose Mourinho has only entrusted him with one Premier League start this season.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry said last week that Martial can become “a world-class player” and Wenger will reportedly make a £50m move for him in January “if he is encouraged to do so”.
And if he isn’t encouraged to do so, the Gunners boss just can devise a new plan to sign players who used to play for Monaco before they moved to the clubs they used to play for before signing for the club they play for now. Such as Emmanuel Riviere. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, honest.
Man City want Sanchez for £20m
Meanwhile, Alexis could be leaving the Emirates sooner rather than later, with Manchester City reportedly planning to offer £20m for him in January. The Mail on Sunday say City hope to get the Chilean for a cut-price fee as he enters the final six months of his Gunners contract.
Making way for Sanchez at the Etihad could be Sergio Aguero, who the Sun on Sunday is an £80m January target for AC Milan. The Argentine’s relationship with manager Pep Guardiola is said to remain “strained” despite him scoring seven goals in seven starts this season.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is thinking about quitting the Blues at the end of the season, as “exclusively” revealed by the Sunday Express. It’s unclear what they think is exclusive about a story that has already been written 400 times in other newspapers, but you have to admire their self-assurance.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman could be leaving even sooner, with the Sunday People claiming the Dutchman has “until the end of October” to save his job.
Elsewhere, Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli are “on Real Madrid’s radar” (Marca), Arsenal are the latest club to be linked with out-of-favour Everton winger Ademola Lookman (Sun on Sunday) and Liverpool’s American owners have put a £1 billion price tag on the club amid interest from a top financier (Sunday Mirror). Most of that is just for Simon Mignolet though.