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9 Jan 2018

Arsenal and Liverpool 'battle for Lemar and Rakitic'

Most of us, sadly, will never in our lives be even a sixteenth as popular as Thomas Lemar is right now. Men want to be him, ladies want to be with him, other men want to be with him, other ladies want to be him and – most emphatically of all – football clubs want to buy him.

But they can’t all have him. It’s time for Thomas Lemar to decide what he wants.

With Arsenal seemingly on the verge of finally selling Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City in a £25m, £30m or £35m deal (depending on whether you believe the Guardian, Sun or Independent), the Gunners have reportedly identified Monaco winger Lemar as the man to replace him (Mirror).

Any sensation of déjà vu you are experiencing is justified, because the Gunners also identified Lemar as the man to replace Sanchez when they were on the verge of selling the Chilean to Man City in the summer.

That time the north Londoners made a £90m bid for the Frenchman, but the deal didn’t happen. This time they are set to make another £90m bid, but the deal might not happen again.

That’s partly because Liverpool, who have also just sold their star player in Philippe Coutinho, have also identified Lemar as the man to replace the Brazilian (Star), while Manchester United have apparently made him their top January target too.

If that wasn’t enough for the Gunners and the Reds to squabble about, Spanish websiteDiario Gol says the same two sides are also battling to sign the Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian allegedly wants to leave the Nou Camp following the arrival of the younger, sexier Coutinho.

Aubameyang set for Dortmund exit

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks set to finally leave Borussia Dortmund this month, but the various Premier League clubs who have pursued him in the past could all be left disappointed.

The Mirror says the Gabonese goal machine is poised to take his Gabonese goals to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande, who are in “advanced negotiations” to snap him up in a £63.5m deal.

West Ham, it seems, are very keen to sign a new central midfield player. The Mirror says they have “shown an interest” in £12m-rated Arsenal man Francis Coquelin, while the Express claims they are “closing in” on the also-£12m-rated Newcastle man Jonjo Shelvey.

The Hammers are also keen on Anderlecht’s £20m-rated, 22-year-old midfielder Leander Dendoncker, according to Belgian publication Nieuwsblad, which sounds like the news publication that rudeboys would read.

Elsewhere, Leicester City are ready to offload flop striker Kelechi Iheanacho on the cheap, just five months after signing him from Man City for £25m (Sun), Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to pay £150m for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Il BiancoNero) and Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi was seen “screaming and dancing” at a “wild drug-fuelled house party” at 2.37am on Sunday morning, hours before the Gunners were dumped out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest (Sun). And he played the full 90 minutes in that game – what a boy.

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