Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has shifted his attention away from one of last summer’s prime targets, according to reports this week.
The Reds made a bid to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar late in the summer transfer window at the beginning of the season, but walked away when Arsenal’s interest led to the asking price reaching a reported £90m.
Liverpool were expected to come back in for the French international this summer, but the Liverpool Echo have now alleged that Klopp has instead decided to pursue other targets.
Lemar was widely tipped to fill the gap in Liverpool’s midfield following the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last month, but the report suggests that Klopp is eager to find a player more suited to playing in the midfield playmaker role in which Coutinho had been operating prior to his departure.
The 22-year-old’s form has not been nearly as impressive has it was last season, and that could be a factor in Klopp’s decision to cool his interest. Lemar has reportedly told Monaco that he will not be signing a new contract, which means that he will probably still be leaving in the summer, but the Ligue 1 side are still likely to place an enormous asking price on him – and the Liverpool manager is notorious for walking away from deals if he feels the money involved is not acceptable.
Where that leaves Liverpool’s summer transfer plan is unknown but the bulk of that Coutinho money is still expected to be spent, given the club’s relatively meagre net spend in comparison to most of their top six rivals in the last couple of years.
In the latest episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look ahead to this weekend’s curtain-raising President’s Cup between Cork City and Dundalk and discuss the latest League of Ireland news and transfers.