Thomas Lemar.

Why Jurgen Klopp is refusing to sign Thomas Lemar to replace Philippe Coutinho

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Much like when Barcelona sold Neymar for €222 million last summer - the most expensive fee in the history of football - everyone is waiting to see what Liverpool do with their new-found war chest.

The Reds finally sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £145 million last week, but while looking for the Brazilian's replacement, clubs now know exactly how much money they have.

Boss Jurgen Klopp has already brought Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool in January for a £75 million fee - a world record for a defender - but that was a pre-emptive strike before the Coutinho deal was done.

So who will Liverpool spend their money on?

If the reports are to be believed, Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Leicester's Riyad Mahrez are the two names that top the list.

Mahrez was spectacular when Leicester won the league in the 2015-16 season, but he has been pretty hot and cold ever since.

Lemar is one of the last remaining young gems to be plucked from Monaco after the mass-exodus last summer and Arsenal have vehemently chased the French international for about a year now.

While Mahrez doesn't seem to be Klopp's priority, the price tag is putting him off Lemar.


According to The Times, Monaco want around £90 million for the 22-year-old but Klopp thinks he is worth £60 million. On top of that, the German thinks if he waits until the summer, he'll find better value in the market.

The same report suggests that Klopp would prefer Dortmund's American wonderkid Christian Pulisic as Coutinho's replacement, but his former side doesn't want to see the winger leave until 2019.

Speaking to Phil Thompson this week, Klopp revealed how difficult it was to try and convince Coutinho to stay.

New Barcelona Signing Philippe Coutinho Unveiled

"I cannot give you the details, but we tried all you can imagine, believe me," Klopp said.

"It started in the summer. That was the problem, it was really late. Philippe says, and it's 100 per cent the truth, I really believe that he wouldn't have left Liverpool for any other club in the world.

"He was convinced he wanted to go, so in the second half of the season we couldn't have used him. Having a player of his quality and bringing him out there [to play], but his head is already away, and then he plays at 40 percent, gets injured or not, it's a difficult situation for the whole squad."

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