On Tuesday, Liverpool bid £75M (€81M) and offered Divock Origi on loan to Monaco in an attempt to sign 21-year-old attacking star Thomas Lemar. Today, depending on the reports you believe, they’re either flying representatives to Monaco to finalise a deal or turning their attention to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Either way, though, it’s clear Lemar was a serious, legitimate target—one the club were and are willing to pay at least £75M for. Now it appears he’s also a Barcelona target, and there are reports starting to emerge from sources with connections to Monaco that the Catalans have also made a bid.
Shockingly, that bid appears to be lower than Liverpool’s, an offer of €60M plus a player—likely Arda Turan, who has been linked with Monaco in recent days—on loan. If true, it’s hard to understand what Barcelona’s goals are here, bidding less today for Lemar than Liverpool did just 24 hours ago.
There’s a possibility it’s nothing more than an attempt to disrupt Liverpool’s transfer activity—trying to turn Lemar’s head and block a Liverpool move even while not being willing to pay a fee that would tempt Monaco—but that seems petty and pointless, even for a football club in the state Barcelona currently is.
And no matter their goals, it could turn out that offering Monaco €20M less than Liverpool did for Lemar will serve to make Liverpool’s bid more appealing to the Ligue 1 side and help to get Liverpool the player at the £75M price point they appear willing to pay up to.