Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. At last, a player for which The Liverpool Offside have written a scout report will end up not signing for the club. That is the message delivered by the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce tonight — well, the TLO part is tacitly implied — as the club mouthpiece can reveal that the Reds have ended their interest in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. We had a hell of a run.
Having observed the Frenchman closely through the first half of the season — following the deadline day shenanigans last summer — Jürgen Klopp reportedly opted against paying the £90m price tag set by Monaco as the Merseysiders looked for a Philippe Coutinho replacement this January. It was assumed the club would renew their interest in the summer, the assumption bolstered by whispers the 22-year old had refused to sign a new contract with the reigning Ligue 1 champions, but Thursday’s report puts paid to that idea.
The news will no doubt be met with mixed emotions on Merseyside; some fans will be happy the club didn’t go above their valuation of Lemar, some will call it another sign Fenway Sports Group are denying Klopp funds, and others still will have considered Lemar unsatisfactory from the start. Finally, some will point to the discrepancy between Monaco’s valuation of their man and the Caen youth player’s diminished production this season as a reasonable explanation for the club’s fading interest.
Naturally, this piece of news opens up for another bout of wild speculation about which superstar the Reds will pursue to fill the hole left behind by their Brazilian magician. It also allows this writer to again shamelessly pine for ready-made-replacement and 16 goal, 6 assist phenom Nabil Fekir in column after column. So. That’ll be fun. Look forward to that, people!
Anyway. Thomas Lemar is cancelled. A scout report goes on the scrap heap. <Insert hot commodity here> is initiated. Let the rumour mongering commence.