Arsenal postpone Thomas Lemar hunt to trim bloated squad

Gunners must offload unwanted stars this month to free up space and money for new arrivals

Thomas Lemar Monaco
Monaco's in-demand star Thomas Lemar
(Image credit: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal are "no longer in active talks over Thomas Lemar", claims Sky Sports, with the broadcaster reporting that although the Gunners haven't given up the ghost on the Monaco star they first intend to trim the size of their squad before trying to lure him to London.

With 33 players currently crammed into the Arsenal dressing room, manager Arsene Wenger intends to ask some to pack their bags between now and the end of the transfer window.

Striker Lucas Perez is "one of a number of players of interest to other clubs", says Sky Sports, namechecking Newcastle United, while Metro says that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain "is on the verge of joining Liverpool" with the paper mentioning the transfer fee of £28m for the England international.

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Meanwhile the Daily Express says that Spanish outfit Valencia have been making enquiries about Gabriel. The former Villarreal defender knows La Liga well and having failed to make much of an impression at the Emirates it would be a logical move for the Brazilian defender.

One player who seems to be staying, however, is Mohamed Elneny, who has brushed off rumours suggesting he could be set to leave in the coming weeks. Recently the Egypt international has been linked with both Leicester and Turkish outfit Galatasaray, apparently because of his frustration at his lack of regular game time since his £7m arrival from Basel 18 months ago.

Elneny, who started only eight Premier League games last season, featured for the full 90 minutes in Sunday's Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley and he has since addressed the speculation he's thinking of leaving the Emirates. "I am staying at Arsenal this season," he told the London Evening Standard. "I am 100 per cent focused and will give my best to the club day after day. There has been a lot of criticism recently and I wanted to prove that I deserve to play for a big team like Arsenal."

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