Anfield Edition understands that Liverpool have enquired about AS Monaco forward Thomas Lemar. The French international wants to move to Anfield and will get his move providing Liverpool meet Monaco’s €100m valuation.
The Anfield side made two last-ditch bids in an attempt to complete a deal for Lemar back in the summer and even offered a staggering £66.8m for the former SC Caen player. However, whilst the likes of Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy moved to the Premier League this summer Lemar had to make do with staying at his current club as both bids were swiftly rejected.
As shown by the recent signing of Virgil Van Dijk and the pre-transfer agreement for Naby Keïta, manager Jürgen Klopp was prepared to wait to get his man and he now looks set to target Lemar once again. The 22-year has also rejected firm interest from Liverpool’s rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, despite the Gunners having had a £90million bid accepted on deadline day, as Lemar wants to join the Reds.
With the speculation surrounding Philippe Coutinho’s potential move to FC Barcelona rising to the forefront once again, many Liverpool fans will suspect that Lemar is a direct replacement for the Brazilian. Whilst that would certainly be the case if the 25-year-old, who has reportedly told Liverpool that he has played his final game for them, was to depart this winter, Klopp would prefer for the Reds to ward off interest from the Catalans once more and keep Coutinho to play alongside his potential new arrival. With the club currently occupying a top-four place in the Premier League – with the potential to finish as high as second – and having received a fairly favourable round of 16 tie against Porto in the Champions League, the former Borussia Dortmund coach is hoping to bolster his squad to compete on both fronts. The French international would be ineligible to compete in Europe having participated in Monaco’s disastrous group stage campaign, but would undoubtedly be another step towards stopping the Reds’ squad from suffering exaggerated levels of fatigue and the subsequent slump in form that followed last season.
Although Klopp would prefer for a deal to be struck now, Monaco are unlikely to be easy negotiators and would demand an extortionate fee for their star man. Therefore, the Liverpool boss is prepared to wait until the summer when the French side are more likely to be open to negotiate a fee. A £90m bid however would be too lucrative for Monaco to turn down given his inconsistent form this season.
The likes of Kylian Mbappé and Bernardo Silva took the plaudits for Monaco’s success in winning Ligue 1 for the first time since 2000 and their unexpected run to the semi-finals of the Champions League, but the unsung hero of their campaign was without a doubt Thomas Lemar. The Frenchman contributed 9 goals and 10 assists domestically last season as well as 2 goals and 4 assists in the Champions League. Lemar is a direct player who loves to run at players with both feet and he uses his dazzling speed and supreme agility to positive effect, as it allows himself to navigate out of tight spaces. On the ball Lemar is one of the most intelligent players in world football for his age and in the critical moments he very rarely makes the wrong decision; demonstrated by how he has completed the second most key passes in the Monaco team on average per match this season (2). Another strength of Lemar’s is his excpetional set-piece deliveries; a side of Coutinho’s game that Liverpool fans greatly admire.
Thomas Lemar would fit perfectly into Jurgen Klopp’s new 4-4-2 formation that is planned to be implemented fully next season. A potential signing of Lemar would once more show intent.