- Thomas Lemar reportedly keen on move to Liverpool
- Monaco star favours Reds over Arsenal and Manchester United
- Frenchman subject to €95m bid from Arsenal during summer transfer window
- SEE MORE: Liverpool join race for Mo Salah’s €8m ex-teammate
Liverpool have taken a significant stride ahead in the race to secure the signature of Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
The Frenchman has seemingly been lurking in the shadows as a potential Philippe Coutinho replacement ever since the summer, when Liverpool offered up to £75million for the 22-year-old.
Lemar was also subject to a €95m bid from Arsenal, who were keen on acquiring him as an alternative to the seemingly Manchester City-bound Alexis Sanchez.
With Lemar opting against a move to the Emirates, Sanchez’s proposed switch to the Etihad subsequently fell through, giving Liverpool the chance to reignite their pursuit upon the turn of the year.
Following talks, the Monaco star has since outlined Anfield as his ideal destination over both Arsenal and Manchester United this winter, according to Yahoo Sports’ Duncan Castles.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool’s interest in Lemar hinges on the immediate future of Coutinho, with Barcelona’s imminent £133million bid for the No.10 expected to be a telling factor.
Having refused to sanction the sale of the Brazilian during the summer, the Reds appear to have adopted a more open-minded approach to entering negotiations with the Catalan giants.
The inevitability of Coutinho’s eventual departure has left timing as the main issue, with the new best case scenario being an agreement that would see the playmaker join Barcelona at the end of the season rather than half-way through.
Lemar doesn’t represent a like-for-like Coutinho replacement, although he does offer the pace, athleticism and explosiveness perfectly-suited to Jurgen Klopp’s counterattacking approach.
Acceptance of the fact Coutinho will leave at some point could prove also key in convincing Liverpool to seal a deal for Lemar as soon as possible.
Get ready for a busy month, Reds.