CHELSEA have joined Liverpool and Arsenal in the race to sign £86million-rated forward Thomas Lemar in January, according to reports in France.
L’Equipe say the Blues are set to turn to the forward in a bid to bolster their threadbare attacking options.
Both the Reds and Gunners launched bids in the region of £80m-90m for the 22-year-old in the summer, but were unsuccessful.
Earlier this season, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev revealed Arsenal came very close to landing Lemar… closer than Liverpool, at least.
Vasilyev claimed: “Liverpool were really interested. But it was Arsenal that was really close to finalising deal.”
During the summer window alone, there was something of a mass exodus in Monaco.
Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva both joined Manchester City, Tiemoue Bakayoko headed to Chelsea, while FIVE more players, including Kylian Mbappe, left.
Monaco were considered lucky to cling onto Lemar given the intense interest, but they now seem certain to lose the star as a third Premier League team enter the bidding war.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been left frustrated by the club’s transfer policy as he has been left threadbare in his attacking ranks.
With Diego Costa being frozen out and then allowed to join Atletico Madrid, Conte was left with just Alvaro Morata and the misfiring Michy Batshuayi up front.
Conte now appears to have turned his attention to Lemar in a bid to fill a void in the Blues squad.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are almost certain to lose Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January, with Lemar a like-for-like replacement.
Arsenal on the other hand are preparing for life without Alexis Sanchez – with both the Chilean and Mesut Ozil available on a free transfer in the summer.
Lemar has failed to reach the heady-heights of last season’s form though, scoring just three times in 18 appearances in all competitions for club and country this term.
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