Liverpool have reportedly made contact with AS Monaco over a move for Thomas Lemar as they view the Frenchman as an ideal replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who is said to be closing in on a switch to Barcelona in the coming weeks.
The Reds midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to the Catalan giants and Barcelona are expected to return with a fresh bid in the coming weeks after failing with three earlier bids during the summer. The two clubs are said to be at loggerheads over the fee with the Premier League outfit demanding £133m (€150m) while Barcelona are at the moment only willing to offer €130m.
Coutinho has been identified as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta and Barcelona are keen to complete the deal before the end of the ongoing January transfer window. According to the Mirror, it is a matter of "when" and not "if" that a deal will be completed which has prompted Liverpool to make a move for Lemar.
The report claims that the Merseyside club have already approached the French club over a move for the France international to re-start negotiations, having already tried to sign him last summer. But Coutinho remaining at Anfield saw them stop the chase, but they have reignited their interest following Barcelona's continued pursuit of the Brazil international.
Lemar is viewed as an ideal replacement for Coutinho as they play in the same left-wing position, while also being able to play more centrally. The 22-year-old contributed with 17 assists and 14 goals across all competitions last season, but has failed to match his form this campaign — he has managed just two goals and four assists in 18 appearances thus far.
Liverpool, however, are likely to be challenged by Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, who are all admirers of the French midfielder. The Gunners were the closest to signing him in the summer having bid €100m (£92m) to secure his services. However, a delay in presenting the bid saw the move fall through.
The north London club were expected to renew their interest again this summer, but according to Yahoo Sports, Lemar has decided that he wants to join Jurgen Klopp's revolution at Anfield rather than Arsenal, who are struggling to get into the top four in the Premier League at the moment.