Liverpool look to be facing a tough battle to persuade Monaco to sell midfielder Thomas Lemar.
According to reports on both sides of the Channel, the Reds have earmarked Lemar as a prime target before the transfer window closes on Thursday night.
French sports daily L’Equipe reported that Liverpool have prepared an offer of 72 million euros (£66.7million) for the 21-year-old attacking player.
According to French broadcaster RMC Sport, Liverpool would consider a trade involving striker Divock Origi moving to Monaco.
However the same report says Monaco have ruled out selling Lemar. The seemingly impending departure of Kylian Mbappe to Paris St Germain may also have a significant impact on any negotiations.
Monaco will know huge money is already coming their way, with Mbappe expected to cost around 180 million euros (£166.8million), and they may be reluctant to lose yet another star player, after a talent drain from the Stade Louis II this summer.
One deal that looks on the point of completion is Liverpool’s move for long-term target Naby Keita, although the Red Bull Leipzig midfielder may have to wait until next summer to move to Anfield.
Reports in Germany and England have claimed the transfer has been struck, and that Liverpool will pay a premium on top of a £48million buy-out clause which comes into effect next year to sign the Guinea international.
German newspaper Bild said Liverpool will pay 75million euros (£69.4million) should Leipzig qualify for next season’s Champions League, 70million euros (£64.8million) if Leipzig secure a Europa League place, or 65million euros (£60.2million) should they fail to earn a place in Europe.
Reports have claimed the 22-year-old has already undergone a medical with the Merseysiders and will officially sign on July 1, 2018.
Press Association Sport has contacted Liverpool but the club h ave yet to comment on the reports.
Liverpool were heavily linked with Keita earlier in the summer but no deal materialised despite a reported bid of £66million.
Monday’s reported development would indicate Liverpool have accepted defeat in their attempts to recruit Keita for the current season but that their interest is sufficiently strong to deem the player worth waiting for.
Keita impressed last season as Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga and qualified for the Champions League.
Liverpool’s efforts to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton collapsed earlier this summer, but there may still be time to revive that deal if it suits all parties.
They have also repelled repeated efforts from Barcelona to take playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the Nou Camp, turning down a reported offer of £118million when the Catalans last bid.
Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho may not be at an end though.
Technical director Robert Fernandez said as Barcelona presented new forward Ousmane Dembele on Monday: “We hope to present another player before the end of the month.
“My intention is for one player to come or maybe two, if possible. I won’t go into names but I admit that the club is working on the possibility of signing new players.”
Published at Tue, 29 Aug 2017 06:54:39 +0000