Liverpool are reportedly planning to test AS Monaco's resolve by making an approach in signing Thomas Lemar in the January transfer window as they want him to replace Philippe Coutinho.
According to the Mirror, the Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has identified the France international as the No.1 target to replace Coutinho at Anfield. The former Inter Milan man left the Merseyside club and completed a switch to Barcelona.
The Catalan club secured the Brazil international's signature after agreeing £142m ($192.8m) deal with the Premier League outfit. Klopp is keen on strengthening his squad in the mid-season transfer window.
Liverpool have already signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, who scored the winner on his debut against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup. The Dutch international became the most expensive defender after the Reds paid a fee of around £75m to secure his services.
Lemar has impressed for the Ligue 1 winners since the start of the 2016/17 season. His form has seen him attract interest from Arsenal, their London rivals Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.
The attacker was subjected to interest from the Reds and the Gunners in the summer. The north London club even agreed a £90m fee with Arsene Wenger's side for Lemar, but the deal collapsed on the deadline day.
Monaco were adamant the 22-year-old was not for sale in the summer, only to accept a late bid from Arsenal. The Mirror reports a similar bid would convince the French club to part ways with the winger.
Liverpool will try to persuade Monaco to sanction Lemar's sale in the mid-season transfer window. The former Borussia Dortmund manager has stressed the importance of reacting in a "right way" following Coutinho's transfer to Barcelona.
"Players will come and players will go, that is football, but as a club we are big enough and strong enough to continue with our aggressive progression on the pitch, even when we lose an important player," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.
"We have never been in a better position in recent times, as a club, to react in the right way. We will use our size and strength to absorb moments like this and still move forward."
The 18-time champions of England are confident of completing his signing in the summer, if they fail to land him in January. Lemar is also believed to be keen on swapping Stade Louis II for Anfield.
Klopp does not want his side to be held at ransom for Lemar in January and will not make any panic buys this month. The German manager remains confident he has a squad at his disposal to finish in top four and compete in the Champions League knockout stages.