Liverpool submit improved club-record £75 million offer for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar

Liverpool submit improved club-record £75 million offer for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar

Liverpool have increased their offer for AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar to £75 million as they look to tempt the Ligue 1 champions into losing another of last season's star performers this summer.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Liverpool have submitted an improved club-record offer of £75 million for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar as they look to tie up a deal before the end of the transfer window on Thursday.

The Reds conducted further talks with the Ligue 1 champions on Tuesday after an offer of £65 million was turned down for the 21-year-old, who was an Arsenal target earlier this summer.

Though Gunners boss Arsène Wenger insisted Monaco would not sell the player this summer, the France international has since emerged as a major target for Jürgen Klopp - with Liverpool prepared to break their transfer record for a third time this summer to sign the player.

Liverpool bettered the previous record £36.7 million fee they spent on Mohamed Salah in July on Tuesday when they confirmed a deal reportedly worth £55 million for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta, who will move to Merseyside in July 2018. 

 

Liverpool pressing on in bid to sign Lemar

Lemar, who scored 14 goals and assisted a further 14 in 55 appearances across all competitions for Monaco last term, can play in a number of positions across midfield and the front three.

The attacker was one of Monaco's best players last term as they shocked Paris Saint-Germain to win a first French top-flight title since 2000 and reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, knocking out Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund en-route to the last four.

Lemar would be a welcome addition to an already-excellent front-line, one which has established itself as one of the best in England already - Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino all excelling early on.

Some reports have suggested that Liverpool have offered striker Divock Origi - frustrated at his lack of regular first-team football at Anfield - as part of the deal as Monaco look to strengthen their forward line after losing several key forwards this summer.

Origi - who has attracted widespread interest from clubs looking to sign the Belgian on loan - has fallen down the pecking order but is looking for more consistent minutes ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

A deal could be complicated by the fact Lemar is expected to feature for Didier Deschamps' France squad in their World Cup qualifier against Holland in Paris on Thursday night.

That means that Liverpool seemingly face a tight deadline for Lemar to be go through a medical before the deadline for the window shuts at 11pm on Thursday.

 

Reds busy in transfer window's final days 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains a potential alternative to Lemar, though Arsenal reportedly have no intention of letting the midfielder - whose contract expires next summer - leave to a club they consider such a close rival.

They are willing to sanction a move to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, however, with the Blues reportedly having agreed a £35 million fee with their London rivals.

Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared on the verge of a switch to Stamford Bridge, but it is thought that England international prefers a move to Liverpool and has rejected Chelsea's advances as a result.

The Anfield club also remain keen to sign centre-back Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, but must overcome hurdles in order to do so - the Dutchman having been subject of a summer-long pursuit.

The Saints reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an illegal approach earlier this summer, with an official club statement insisting Liverpool would end all interest in the defender.

Van Dijk has trained alone for three weeks since handing in an official transfer request and remains keen to depart Southampton despite signing a six-year contract at St Mary's only last May. 

Moves for van Dijk and Lemar or Oxlade-Chamberlain aren't thought to be tied to Philippe Coutinho's future as the Brazilian continues to be linked with a late transfer to Barcelona.

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