Philippe Coutinho sale gives Liverpool advantage over Arsenal in £90m race for Monaco ace Thomas Lemar

Monacos French midfielder Thomas Lemar (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Monaco (ASM) on December 15, 2017, at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, central-eastern France. / AFP PHOTO / ROMAIN LAFABREGUE (Photo credit should read ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Monaco winger Thomas Lemar over the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea because of Philippe Coutinho’s £142million move to Barcelona. The Reds were interested in the France international last summer but were unwilling to go beyond the £70m mark – some £20m below Monaco’s valuation.

Arsenal agreed a deal in principle to sign Lemar for around £90m but pulled out due to uncertainity over Alexis Sanchez’s prospective move to Manchester City on deadline day. The Gunners remain interested in signing Lemar but Liverpool have plenty of cash in the bank from Coutinho’s sale and can now topple Arsenal’s offer, according to the Mirror.

Coutinho’s move to the Camp Nou is the second biggest transfer of all-time and, though Liverpool have already reinvested £75m on Virgil Van Dijk, the Dutchman’s move to Anfield was allocated from last summer’s budget and Jurgen Klopp still has around £100m to spend.

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim admitted earlier this week that Lemar could leave the club this month if a suitor matches their £90m valuation and Liverpool could trigger it in the next fortnight. Chelsea and Manchester United have been keeping tabs on Lemar but the Frenchman respects Liverpool’s long-held interest in him.

Klopp’s men take on Manchester City on Sunday and will welcome Mohamed Salah back into their starting XI. The Egyptian’s missed the last two matches with a groin strain but he resumed full training at Melwood on Wednesday.

Source: Metro Uk

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