Two Premier League clubs interested in Lemar but Atletico Madrid keen to avoid loan deal
The French international winger draws admiring glances from English football, but his current employers want to discuss a permanent sale
Thomas Lemar interests two Premier League clubs, Goal has learned, but Atletico Madrid are looking to secure a permanent transfer for a player who has only attracted loan requests in the current window.
The La Liga giants have opened an exit door to the French international at Wanda Metropolitano.
Lemar has only contributed three goals and six assists for Atleti in 72 appearances, with more expectation of a player recruited from Monaco in 2018.
Diego Simeone’s side invested € 72million (£ 66million / $ 85million) to lure a highly rated winger away from his homeland, but saw little return on this display of faith.
The club’s sporting director, Andrea Berta, along with agent Jorge Mendes, have been tasked with finding a buyer for Lemar.
It is understood that two parts of England inquired about availability of a man who was part of the triumphant France team at the 2018 World Cup.
However, they have been eager to explore the possibility of setting up loan deals throughout the season.
Atletico are reluctant to think about such advances as they have to take a significant salary off their books.
Loan agreements are not totally ruled out, but any decision should include a purchase commitment in 2021.
If no compromise can be found with Lemar’s suitors, then Simeone will welcome the Frenchman into his plans as he seeks to get rid of other fringe members of his squad.
Atletico must provide funds because, like many teams across the world, they have been hit hard by the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
Club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin is reportedly considering investing just 25% of the money from sales on new hires.
This makes life difficult for Simeone, who knows he can’t spend as much on possible replacements as he generates in sales.
Lemar’s value, meanwhile, has likely depreciated significantly following his struggles on the pitch since joining Atleti, adding to the frustration of Simeone and his team.