Arsenal did not pursue a deal for Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina this summer after manager Arsene Wenger stepped in to end chief negotiator Dick Law’s pursuit of the Gabon international, according to the Evening Standard.
With doubts over Wenger’s future at the club after a contract extension remained unsigned, Law took it upon himself to enquire about Lemina with the player’s agent, on the recommendation of the club’s scouts.
The Gunners were believed to be lining up potential targets in the event that Wenger decided to leave the club but once the contract was signed, Wenger regained authority over transfer dealings, refusing in the process to have a director of football after CEO Ivan Gazidis suggested one.
Lemina is now poised to join Southampton for £18m while Wenger is focused on signing Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, according to L’Equipe. If you consider the two players’ performances last season, it’s clear that Seri is the stronger candidate.
Lemina made just eleven starts last season, making 29 appearances in all, scoring one goal and providing one assist. Seri on the other hand played an integral role for Nice with the Ivorian making 39 appearances, scoring seven goals and contributing nine assists.