Liverpool are not interested in Thomas Lemar anymore, says James Pearce, who claims Jurgen Klopp has his eye on a better player to bring in with the £142m Coutinho windfall.
Here’s five options we think the club will consider…
Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund
We reckon the teenage American is both FSG and Klopp’s first choice. It’s been proven that Dortmund sell their best players, and with Pulisic’s contract expiring in 2020, they’ll have little choice but to cash in if he wants an exit. Has the potential to develop into one of the world’s best players.
Isco – Real Madrid
The world-class Spaniard is not enjoying a good season in La Liga, with reports suggesting Zinedine Zidane wants to get rid in the summer. If this is true, Liverpool would be mad not to make an enormous offer. Of the players on this list, he’s the most obvious direct replacement for Coutinho.
Nabil Fekir – Lyon
The Frenchman is tearing up trees in Ligue 1, and is still only 24. He plays as a no.10, just off the striker, but has been deployed deeper in the past, where Coutinho played this term for Liverpool before his exit. Fekir is quick, technical and has a wonderful eye for goal. More than any player in this list, actually. Lyon, like Dortmund, sell. But Fekir would require more than Arsenal paid for Alexandre Lacazette.
Kerem Dermibay – Hoffenheim
Still just 24, Dermibay is Hoffenheim’s best player and a full Germany international with hopes of a World Cup call. We played him earlier this season in the Champions League Play-Off, and were suitably impressed. Bild claim he’s got a €32m release-clause, which for a 24-year-old nowadays, is fairly cheap. Probably the least exciting option on our list, mind.
Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli
The Italian is Napoli’s creator in chief, although he gets plenty of help from the legendary Marek Hamsik. Insigne plays from the left and cuts in, much like Coutinho did when deployed in this role throughout the majority of his Anfield tenure. A technically gifted, quick attacker with a record of scoring big goals in big games. Has rarely been used deeper, though.