Manchester City will return to Monaco for a third player by launching a summer bid for attacker Thomas Lemar, Matt Law of the Telegraph reports.
City missed out on Alexis Sanchez and Riyad Mahrez in January, and Pep Guardiola is still in the market for a goal scoring attacker who can operate on the flanks.
Eden Hazard is the dream signing, but the Telegraph reports that Chelsea wouldn’t even sell him to City for a world record fee, and the Blues are instead looking towards the principality of Monaco, where they previously acquired Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy from.
At 22, Lemar would be a much younger acquisition than Mahrez, Alexis or Hazard would have been, but would not come cheap and City could be looking at another club record fee.
Arsenal failed with a £90million bid last year as they sought a late replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who was City-bound until the Gunners couldn’t strike a deal with Monaco. Liverpool have also failed in at least one attempt to sign the French international.
What could drop the price-tag a little is the fact that Lemar’s contract will have two years left to run come the summer transfer window. City are also looking at Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, who would be a cheaper, if slightly less proven candidate.
Guardiola said recently he only plans a couple of major signings this summer, with Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred expected to be one of them.
“Of course we buy a lot of players and they have helped us a lot and next summer is to buy one or two players more,” Guardiola said at a recent press conference. “So our market in the summer will be cheaper. If you want to compete at a high level of competitions you need the good players, and the good players make good managers, good clubs.”
Lemar and Fred would certainly add fresh quality to an already impressive squad and could set City up for a strong title defence next season should they go on to win this year’s Premier League.
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