Liverpool are unlikely to sign AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar in the January transfer window, according to BBC Sport reporter Phil McNulty (h/t The Sport Review). Philippe Coutinho left Anfield for Barcelona last weekend, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side with a hole in their attack going into the second half of the season.
Coutinho’s departure to Spain has handed the Reds with a mighty £142m war chest, which Klopp is looking to spend to replace the Brazilian playmaker and also to strengthen different positions. The Reds were linked with a potential move to sign sublime France international Lemar last summer from Monaco but a deal never materialised.
Lemar blossomed as Monaco won the Ligue 1 title last term. But the 22-year-old has found things tougher this season. He has found the net just 3 times in 19 games since his move to England collapsed. The Merseysiders are still keen on the talented Frenchman and are ready to revive their efforts to sign him, now that Coutinho has departed for Barcelona.
BBC Sport reporter McNulty appeared to suggest that Liverpool might wait until the summer before finding a long-term replacement for Coutinho.
“He will be a player that interests Liverpool but as of yet no movement,” McNulty told BBC Radio 5 Live (h/t The Sport Review).
“Liverpool want to bring in reinforcements following Coutinho’s move. Lemar was a player they showed an interest in. Klopp has proven that if he can’t get a player he wants, he is prepared to wait rather than spend the money for the sake of it.
“Liverpool will be exploring all their options and Lemar could be part of that.”
Journalist Duncan Castles, speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, has claimed that Liverpool had an agreement with the wing wizard but Arsenal’s interest made him reject a move to Anfield.
“Lemar, also wanted by Manchester United and on Jose Mourinho’s recruitment list for a winger – probably too expensive for them – and Liverpool (who) tried to get him in the summer and had an agreement with him to come but Arsenal gazumped them with more money so the player didn’t move,” Castles was quoted by Express.
“The boot is probably now on the other foot, in that deal. Lemar has still told Liverpool he will go, if they can get a deal.
”But Liverpool now have to come to an agreement on price with Monaco and they are holding off on that because Monaco, intelligently enough, realise there are three of the top English clubs wanting the player and they can wait.
”They can do a deal now or they can wait and they are looking at least at £85m as a transfer fee, potentially more for a 22-year-old player with a few years of Champions League experience.”
Lemar would be a brilliant addition to our ranks and I feel we have to spend close to £100m in the summer to acquire his services.