Having had their earlier £62M bid for Thomas Lemar rejected by Monaco, Liverpool are reportedly willing to increase their offer to around £70M in cash plus Divock Origi in an effort to get a deal for the 21-year-old star done before the close of the transfer window on Thursday.
Based on Liverpool’s valuation of Origi, it’s a deal would be worth around £90M to the Ligue 1 side, and according to The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce there is hope it will be enough to convince Monaco to sell after previously also rejecting an Arsenal bid of around £55M for Lemar.
As steep as that £70M fee plus the inclusion of Origi would be, the club also continue to insist that they have the funds to make such a move without having to sell Philippe Coutinho, and that despite another round of Catalan rumours the player will remain at Liverpool this season.
Liverpool entered the summer knowing they needed midfield reinforcements, and Lemar would arrive to fill that long established need rather than to allow Coutinho’s subsequent departure. If anything, it appears Liverpool’s deferred signing of Naby Keïta may address the Coutinho situation.
Having agreed to pay RB Leipzig a £3M sweetener this summer and then the player’s full release clause of around £48M in 2018 for a total investment of £51M has allowed Liverpool to pre-emptively lock down the Guinean star who Jürgen Klopp identified as his top midfield target.
It’s also a move that would allow Liverpool to lose a current starter come next summer without it weakening the overall squad—but only if they can bring in the depth they have needed all along this summer. That depth, if Liverpool get their way now, will be Monaco’s Lemar.
If a deal can be pushed through, Lemar would play a similar role at the club to the one Coutinho is expected to this season, the most advanced player in the midfield three against low block sides and also an option on the wing.