• Lemar has emerged as Liverpool's top priority target to replace Philippe Coutinho.
  • Steve Nicol believes the money can be utilised better on two players.

Former Liverpool player Steve Nicol has urged his old club to use the Philippe Coutinho money to sign Riyad Mahrez and Gianluigi Donnarumma instead of Thomas Lemar.

Coutinho completed his move to Barcelona on 6 January for a reported fee of £142m ($192m) with Monaco's Lemar emerging as Jurgen Klopp's top priority replacement for the Brazilian.

Recent reports claim that the Ligue 1 side could demand £100m for Lemar's signature this month but Nicol is not confident about spending such an amount on the Frenchman who will have many question marks coming into England.

"To be honest, the Lemar one I'm not 100 per cent," Nicol told ESPN via Express.

"The reason I threw Lemar in is because when Coutinho was signed, there were big question marks over whether he could actually reach the stage he's at now, that's why he's there.

Instead, the 56-year-old believes Liverpool should target Leicester City's Mahrez as he is a proven Premier League player along with AC Milan's Donnarumma, regarded as one of the most talented young goalkeepers in the world.

"The other two I think are no brainers," Nicol explained. "Liverpool need a goalkeeper, this kid (Donnarumma) will no question, I don't know how many years it will be, will one day be the best goalkeeper in the world.

"Try and go at get him now and then you've got a class goalie for 10 years and listen, proper goalkeepers will save you between 10 and 15 points a season. That's what Liverpool are missing right now with (Simon) Mignolet.

"And Riyad Mahrez, his actual stats over the last three seasons are just as good as Coutinho's. He's not as good a player as Coutinho but the guy's a proven Premier League player, who's a little bit special at times. So if you can get Mahrez and you can get Donnarumma, then I think that makes Liverpool better."

Mahrez was previously linked as a potential Coutinho replacement, though, certain reports claimed that the Reds had not even made contact with a potential move for the Algerian.

Meanwhile, Klopp is said to already be in the market for a new goalkeeper with Jan Oblak, Jack Butland and Allison as possible targets.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
Donnarumma is regarded as one of the most promising goalkeepers today Getty