Having turned down a deadline day move to Arsenal with a view to making the jump to Liverpool after the Reds had expressed an interest earlier in the window, AS Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar remains a hot-topic on transfer front. As Barcelona revive their interest in Philippe Coutinho, the press are bringing this story back to the forefront with the Anfield outfit supposedly lining up the 22-year old as heir apparent for the want-away Brazilian.
With a figure of £90mil floating around, the still wet behind the ears attacker would become the club’s new record signing after they wrapped up their much protracted move for Virgil van Dijk last week for a cool £75mil — a record transfer for a defender. While he’s not a like for like replacement for the little magician, Lemar’s potential can’t be denied and that has prompted the club to take a punt on the versatile attacker. That all sounds easy enough, but Monaco aren’t about to let him just hop on a plane for Merseyside.
“Monaco are not in the habit of making big sales in the winter,” said Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, pouring cold water all over the red hot talk of the player moving to Anfield this winter. “It’s our strategy,” added the Frenchman, expanding further on the club’s thinking. “The players understand and they know how it goes here.”
Speaking ahead of their 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Ray yesterday, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde refused to be drawn on their apparent interest in Coutinho and instead insisted that he’s more interested in the players that are already at the Nou Camp. That, of course, is a bit of a departure for the Catalonians with their players discussing the Brazilian on the regular. Any move for Lemar would almost certainly be dependent on a deal being struck with Barcelona and while that chain reaction seems more likely to happen in the summer with both players cup tied for the Champions League, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is sticking to his guns and has refused to discuss any of it with the press.
“All the things I say now, only create stories, and you create stories anyway,” said Klopp, speaking to the press ahead of the FA Cup third round meeting with Everton on Friday. “I have nothing to say, that is how it is. It is a transfer window. That’s all,” continued the German, clearly annoyed that all anyone wants to talk about is Coutinho. “I opened the door because I mentioned that it is a transfer window but there is nothing to say that would help me or the player or the club. That is the only thing I am interested in.”