Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev admits Thomas Lemar and Fabinho considered exits during the summer transfer window and expects it will be difficult to keep hold of the duo when suitors again come calling in June.
Lemar and Fabinho were two of the emerging Monaco stars linked with blockbuster moves on the heels of the club’s stunning Ligue 1 title. While Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, and Kylian Mbappe all secured big-money transfers, Vasilyev says there simply wasn’t enough time to move the duo as well.
“These offers came late, very late, in the market so once you cannot replace a player they (the offers) become even more difficult to accept,” Vasilyev told The Telegraph’s Jason Burt. “We plan and when it’s the last days it’s very difficult.”
“He wanted to go to the Premier League and I had a few discussions with him and I said ‘stay, stay, stay’ but, of course, when the offers were very, very high, higher than we initially expected, then we had to talk, to discuss,” Vasilyev explained. “But in the end we were very happy.”
Asked if Lemar would leave this coming summer, Vasilyev answered there was a “fair chance.”
“We realise at a certain moment it’s right to let players go. … We understand that we are basically a selling club and we accept that but at the same time we are in a good financial situation so we don’t have to sell and we want to keep the club competitive,” Vasilyev said. “This is not about making money, it’s about being successful. So there is always this balance.”