Liverpool may have been thrown a lifeline in their pursuit of Thomas Lemar on Monday.
Since Philippe Coutinho’s not-so-shocking move to Barcelona last weekend, rumors have gone into overdrive about who Liverpool could be looking at to replace their crafty Brazilian superstar - and how they plan to spend the cool £142m now burning a hole in their pockets.
The name on the top of the list has been Thomas Lemar, the 22-year-old French attacker currently playing for Ligue 1 side Monaco. The connection makes sense considering Klopp’s and the team’s interest in the player last summer, when they failed to prise him out of France. While Monaco set a price for him in August, January sales are a different deal altogether, with many teams reluctant to sell their best players and disrupt their seasons.
Monaco had previously seemed to be of that mind, but on Monday, manager Leonardo Jardim, speaking at a press conference, seemed to soften their previously firm stance on the subject.
“We are not used to selling in the winter,” he told French newspaper l’Equipe, regarding the rumors surrounding Lemar, “but the transfer window lasts until the end of the month and many things can happen.”
We still don’t know if Liverpool’s interest is strong enough for them to shell out the exorbitant amount of cash that this would no doubt require. However, we know they have the money available, and all indications are that all of the Coutinho cash will be invested back into the squad. The downfall of that, of course, is that Monaco and every other club in the world knows that too.
Klopp has shown in his recent transfer dealings in charge of the club that he has no problem paying a high premium for those players he considers his top targets. Lemar seems to be in that camp, and if Monaco have decided they’re willing to sell for the right price, the game may truly be on here.
We’re only a week in and already, with Virgil van Dijk’s arrival and Coutinho’s departure, this has been the club’s busiest January transfer window since the one that brought Coutinho here in the first place, back in 2013. While these two blockbuster moves could be the extent of the business Liverpool get up to this month, there may still be some surprises to come.