Throughout the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga, there were few voices of reason coming out of Spain. However, one of the few Spanish journalists who seemed to elevate accuracy over sensationalism was Guillem Balague.
Now, Balague is back with his latest take on Liverpool’s transfer hopes, and it’s not one that many fans will appreciate. He says a January move for Liverpool would be surprising, and essentially ruled out Riyad Mahrez and Thomas Lemar.
“My understanding is the club will look at the market and sees what’s available,” Balague told Sky Sports.
“There won’t be a lot available to be honest and it’s a weakened position that Liverpool have got now.
“They’ve got the money but everybody knows that so I’m not sure they’re in a rush to get anybody as has been reported.
“Mahrez and Lemar are not targets for Liverpool. We’ll have to see what happens with (Naby) Keita first of all.
“I’d be surprised if they did (sign a replacement).”
On Lemar, he also asserted that all of the links between him and Liverpool were not from the club, but rather from the player and his representatives. If true, this is doubly frustrating; he is exactly the kind of player that Liverpool should be looking to buy in this window, and there he is begging for an Anfield move.
That said, the more cost-effective move might be to try to bring Keita in early. The exciting midfielder would go a long way toward papering over the hole left by Coutinho in the squad, and if Barcelona can bully their way toward a mid-season exit, so too should Liverpool.