Liverpool are considering an approach in signing AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar in the summer transfer window.
According to the French publication Le 10 Sport, the 21-year-old has emerged as a transfer target for the Reds as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, despite Jurgen Klopp insisting his star player is not for sale.
Coutinho is believed to replace Neymar at Camp Nou as the latter is expected to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record deal.
The Merseyside club are yet to convert their interest into a concrete offer for Lemar. Liverpool have not held discussions with either Monaco or the winger's representatives. However, things could speed up once Neymar completes his switch to Parc des Princes, which will then allow Barcelona to make a move for Coutinho.
The Anfield club are not willing to allow the Brazil international to leave the Premier League outfit this summer. However, Liverpool are wary that there is a possibility of Coutinho joining Barcelona and are preparing for a player who can replace him at the club. Lemar has been identified as a target for Klopp's side.
Any move from Liverpool for the France international will see them face competition from their league rivals Arsenal. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is an admirer of his compatriot and is keen on bringing Lemar to the Emirates.
The north London club have already seen three bids - €40m (£35.8m, $47.3m), €45m (£40.3m, 53.2m) and €50m (£44.7m, $59.2m) – for Lemar rejected by Monaco. Lemar is keen on joining Wenger at Arsenal after impressing for his side in their first Ligue 1 success since 2000.
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has ruled out the sale of Lemar and his club teammate Fabinho this summer.
"Fabinho and Lemar are essential players, they will stay with us. We have kept all of the key players we intended to keep," Vasilyev explained.
It should be seen whether Liverpool or Arsenal will manage to raise their offer to convince Monaco to part with Lemar this summer. He scored nine goals and registered 10 assists in the league last season.