Press conference

Wenger on Lemar, Mbappe and Mustafi

Thomas Lemar has been linked with a move to the club throughout the summer, but could he still make the move to the Emirates?

Arsene Wenger was asked whether he could seal a deal for the Monaco man before the close of the transfer window.

This is what he had to say about him, Kylian Mbappe and Shkodran Mustafi:

on whether the Thomas Lemar deal is dead now…
It’s dead because Monaco has closed the door. They are still on cases like Mbappe and Fabinho. They’ve already lost Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Bakayoko, so Monaco is at a stage where they have closed the door.

on how much of a frustration it is for him…
We have the numbers, we have the quality to deal with that.

on if he expects to sell Mustafi before the end of the window…
It’s difficult for me to speak about any individual cases because we are now in the final seven days of the transfer market. It’s always very difficult to predict what will happen there. You have to make quick and sharp decisions, and you cannot plan that and come out in the press conference with how you will respond to any solicitation. 

on £180m plus a player for Mbappe - and nearly getting him for nothing a year ago…
That shows you how quickly things go up and down in life. At the moment it’s an abstraction. It’s just a number and very difficult to imagine nowadays. We saw £100m for the first time last year and just one year later, it’s over £200m. Will that go on? I don’t know, but it looks like it doubles in the transfer market every year now. It looks to me like it will reach a stage where it’s very difficult to predict where it will go. Nobody knows in our job.

on how happy he is with the strength of the squad…
I’m happy with the strength of the squad. I’m completely happy with the strength of the squad. I have said many times that we have too many players in our squad, and some of them have no chance to compete for places because we have too many. Too much competition for places is no good as well because the players have no chance of playing. On the other hand, one of the values of this club is to give a chance to young players who deserve it. If you have too many players of confirmed status, you’re in a difficult position to give a chance to young players. We have the luck of having three or four players who are top quality and deserve a chance. 

on whether more players will go than arrive by deadline day…
Both can happen. It depends how many players will go to see if we can bring one more in. We are on alert in the last seven days. Everybody gets agitated and phones ring more often than before. Sometimes you have to share the work in the final day because you have some cases going out and some coming in. The last two days are always very hectic. 

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