With Barcelona set to end one of this season’s most protracted sagas by finally signing the 25-year-old Brazilian, Liverpool are looking to swiftly conclude deals for replacements.
Long-linked with Thomas Lemar, 22, of Monaco, the Reds ardour for the player has been dampened by both Monaco’s owners and manager declaring the mercurial midfielder is not for sale this winter. Having seen their squad decimated last summer, the Monegasques are intent on holding onto their prize asset until next summer at the very least.
It’s meant the Reds must look elsewhere for the answer to their problem. 26-year-old Algerian international Mahrez is regularly touted as wanting to leave the King Power Stadium but has so far found it impossible to force an exit.
AS Roma were firmly interested last summer but refused to meet Leicester’s valuation for the former Footballer of the Year. Arsenal were also heavily linked with Mahrez over the past two summers, as were Chelsea, but neither followed up initial interest with a bid for the player.
Liverpool though know that strengthening their squad off the back of Coutinho’s sale is vital not only for the remainder of their season but also to appease fans over the loss of popular player.