As speculation continues to mount regarding the future of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, the Bleacher Report believe that the club are already considering replacements.
The man they consider to be the target is West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini.
What would he bring to Anfield?
Lanzini is a supreme creative force. Having already stepped into the shoes of Dimitri Payet after he left London in January, he has shown that he does have the quality to lead a Premier League team.
He also, importantly, brings goals. With eight last season, many of them from distance, he could replace the loss of Philippe Coutinho’s contribution on the scoresheet. Lanzini can finish from outside the box with aplomb, something that Liverpool have relied on Coutinho to do at times against more defensive opposition.
The Argentine’s versatility could also appeal to Jurgen Klopp. Lanzini played all across midfield, attack and even at wing-back for Slaven Bilic last season. That ability to switch between a wide striker and a midfield playmaker could be a valuable option for the German to have in his squad.
Is a move likely?
The 24-year-old will not be short of suitors, but West Ham are unlikely to allow such a key player to leave cheaply as they look to build an ambitious squad for the coming season. Particularly after allowing Payet to leave last season rocked their campaign, they will do all they can to hold onto Lanzini.
Liverpool may also be reluctant to fork out a large sum for a player who lacks any top level experience. With no Champions League game time in his career, and having only made his debut for the Argentina national team this year, it would be a big step up for Lanzini.
It is also worth remembering that any deal would hinge on the departure of Philippe Coutinho. Whilst Barcelona are clearly interested, there has been no indication yet that Liverpool would ever allow him to leave this summer.