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Sometimes people feel like they need things just because they see that everyone else has got one – iPhones, Herschel bags, babies – and it’s the same with Thomas Lemar.
At first the young winger was a niche interest among aficionados of French football (Arsene Wenger) but then Liverpool started pursuing him too, then Bayern Munich and Chelsea got involved, and now we’ve reached the point where anyone who isn’t trying to sign Lemar is made to feel like there is something wrong with them.
So it stands to reason that the next club linked with the 21-year-old Monaco star is Manchester United (who actually do have something wrong with them, but let’s not get into that now).
The Mirror reports that the Red Devils have “joined the race” to sign the £88m-rated Lemar, who may in fact no longer be rated at quite that much since Monaco were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages.
Even so, the Ligue 1 champions’ owner Vadim Vasilyev has insisted he is “is not thinking about” selling Lemar in January (Star). He’s probably thinking about getting a new yacht.
Man Utd are also said to be keen on another highly rated left-sided youngster with a French-sounding name, Ryan Sessegnon.
The Guardian reports that United are “preparing” a £25m offer for Fulham’s teenage sensation and will sell Luke Shaw to make way for him. The Cottagers, however, are holding out for an offer “in excess of £30m”.
And in any case, Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic says he is “not thinking” of selling the 17-year-old. He is probably thinking about who will die in EastEnders this Christmas.
Benitez targets new faces
The Mirror says Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has “laid down his January transfer plans” to owner Mike Ashley, which is a shame because he was probably hoping to lay them down to a different owner.
In a “recent conference call” with the reduced sportswear mogul, Benitez apparently demanded Kenedy of Chelsea on loan, plus two other new players (probably not expensive ones).
The Blues were planning a £70m offer for the 22-year-old midfielder, but PSG are apparently set to gazump them with a literally ridiculous offer of £150m. Because that’s what they do.
And in the most tragic story of the day, the Times reports that Alexis Sanchez had “shaken hands” on a new Arsenal contract but changed his mind when the Gunners got smashed 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says he will not discuss a new contract for the unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo until after the winter break (Marca), Arsenal are set to pip Liverpool to the signing of 20-year-old Novara winger Alessio Da Cruz (Talksport) and West Ham have had an opening offer of £8m for Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter rejected (Express). If this is anything like the Hammers’ pursuit of Robert Snodgrass this time last year, they will end up signing Arter for about £58m.