- Liverpool contact Leicester to deny interest in Riyad Mahrez
- Algerian had been tipped as possible Philippe Coutinho replacement
- Coutinho closing in on Barcelona move
- SEE MORE: Barcelona agree €160m Coutinho deal; player has said goodbyes at Liverpool
Liverpool have moved quickly to rubbish reports they are in pursuit of Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez this January.
The Algerian had been touted as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who is expected to finalise a move to Barcelona in the coming days.
Despite suggestions the Reds have made contact over a deal for Mahrez, the club is believed to have contacted Leicester to deny the claims.
Understand @LFC have contacted @LCFC directly to tell them they have no interest in winger Riyad Mahrez – among a number of first-teamers left out of the Foxes’ FA Cup team at Fleetwood – and speculation is “complete fabrication”
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 6, 2018
The club’s swift response to seemingly false rumours marks a possible implication of their messy pursuit of Virgil van Dijk in the summer.
Liverpool were forced to publicly apologise and end interest in the Dutchman at the time after Southampton lodged a complaint against an alleged illegal approach.
Mahrez represents one of many names to surface as a potential Coutinho replacement, and certainly won’t be the last as the Brazilian edges closer to sealing a switch to the Nou Camp.
News from Spain of a €160 million agreement between Liverpool and Barcelona is sure to generate more fresh targets, although it remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp will even look to reinvest the funds at all.
Monaco’s Thomas Lemar continues to attract interest from Anfield having been subject to a £75million bid in the latter stages of the summer transfer window.
If one leaves, one has to come in- especially if there is a Coutinho-shaped hole to fill.