Liverpool’s £70m+ Lemar negotiations to go ‘down to the wire’
Talks between Liverpool and Monaco for Thomas Lemar are ongoing as the Premier League side try to force through a club-record transfer worth over £70 million inclusive of extras for the France international.
As revealed by Goal on Monday, that figure could be further supplemented by the inclusion of Divock Origi — tracked by the Ligue 1 champions already this window — in negotiations to conclude a deal.
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Lemar is eager to line up under Jurgen Klopp, who believes the multi-faceted playmaker will enhance his already explosive attacking unit.
Monaco are aware of the 21-year-old’s wish, but are reluctant to let him depart having already ceded the majority of their core talent this summer, with Kylian Mbappe close to finalising a headline switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
They have maintained Lemar is not on the market now, but Liverpool will be persistent and are prepared to further up their proposal, with discussions set to go “down to the wire” as they continue an ambitious, assertive drive to fortify their squad.
The Reds have already twice broken their club record in the window — first with the initial £36.9m signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma, which was then followed by the advance acquisition of RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita for next season worth in excess of £50m.
A successful push for Lemar, who is adept with both feet can and operate across the frontline or as an attacking midfielder, would surpass both those deals.
And even then, it could be ousted as Liverpool’s benchmark piece of business if the club’s desire to see Virgil van Dijk in the heart of their defence is represented in a bid to Southampton.
A tapping-up saga in June forced the Reds into publicly ending “any interest” in the Netherlands international, who made clear his intention to join the Anfield side despite pitches from Manchester City and Chelsea to recruit him.
The south coast club have been emphatic in stating that the 26-year-old will not be sold in this window, but any softening of that position will encourage a formal approach from Liverpool.
It is understood only a sum upwards of £75m could tempt Southampton to reconsider their standpoint, while Antonio Conte’s side also keep an eye on developments with a view to late action.
These blockbuster moves with the transfer deadline fast approaching is the antithesis of last summer, in which the Reds’ final incoming was Gini Wijnaldum, who arrived on July 22.
In fact, the last signing the Merseysiders made in late August was the £16m ‘gamble’ on Mario Balotelli from AC Milan on the 25th of the month in 2014.
Despite the potential eye-watering outlay and regardless of any additional purchases, Liverpool insist their definitive stance on Philippe Coutinho has not changed and they will not entertain offers from Barcelona for the wantaway Brazil international this summer.