Liverpool sprung something of a surprise this week with the excellent acquisition of Fabinho from AS Monaco. The deal, reported by the BBC to be worth around £39 million, came out of the blue and it sees Liverpool add bite to their midfield and coverage in a number of different positions.
Liverpool, who will also see Naby Keita arrive this summer and are on the hunt for Nabil Fekir, look set to launch an attack on the Premier League this season after being the only side to better Manchester City on more than one occasion and their incredible run to the Champions League final.
So could they reignite interest in one of Fabinho’s former Monaco team-mates and a player they tried to sign previously? The player in question is French international winger Thomas Lemar.
He has been a revelation in the principality since his arrival from Caen in 2015. Back in January, it was even reported Liverpool had reached an agreement with the player, but a £90 million asking price always remained a sticking point – as reported by The Sun.
But, with it clear that channels between the two clubs can be opened, are Liverpool now in the driving seat to bring the attacking midfielder to England.
The £90 million fee remains an issue. But after a season in which Lemar did not reach his heady heights of 2016-17, there is surely some wiggle room on that.
Liverpool also have plenty of players they could perhaps offer to Monaco to sweeten any deal, with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Lazar Markovic all dispensable.
After managing to do business with the notoriously difficult Monaco to bring Brazilian international Fabinho to Anfield the Reds are surely in pole position to bring Lemar to England this summer.
Rafa Benitez should plot Fernando Torres reunion at Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez should plot a reunion with his former superstar.
Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish.
The Spaniard is calling for the club to back him in pursuit of a “10 to 15 goals a season” striker this summer, with the likes of Salomon Rondon (Northern Echo) and Bas Dost (the Sun) circulating around the Newcastle rumour mill.
However, both would likely break the Magpies current club-record of £16 million – for Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005 – and perhaps Benitez would be better served going for a former favourite.
Fernando Torres is a free-agent having left Atletico Madrid, following last month’s Europa League triumph and Newcastle should offer the 34-year-old a route back to England’s top flight this summer.
Under Benitez’s tutelage at Liverpool, Torres was widely recognised as one of the most formidable forwards in world football, and though his impact has diminished over the years, there’s no doubting the World Cup winner’s quality in front of goal.
The prospect of an elite level striker arriving at St James’ Park on a free transfer is a no brainier if the player can be convinced and the club should make it happen. He knows the league inside-out, having made 212 appearances for Chelsea – where he won the Champions League – and with Benitez at Anfield, and he could instantly propel Newcastle’s attack to higher levels.
Becoming a crucial part of a new project on Tyneside would be enticing for Torres, as his unwavering desire and tenacity on a football pitch is something that cannot be questioned. And he doesn’t seem the type to move to the States or China in pursuit of one last pay-cheque.
He has all the attributes to become a cult-hero at Newcastle, and the club should act now.
Blow for Liverpool as Real Madrid enter race for Roma goalkeeper Alisson
The Brazilian international has been touted as Liverpool’s priority target since the summer window opened, just days after current stopper Lloris Karius cost Liverpool the chance of winning their sixth European trophy, with two huge blunders in Kiev.
Jurgen Klopp was said to be weighing up whether or not to make a move for the 25-year-old, having been somewhat deterred by the Italians’ hefty asking price of £80 million this week. And another huge obstacle has presented itself, in the form of defending European champions Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants are readying an initial bid, which is expected to be somewhere in the region of £43 million, but the bid will likely be rejected given the Romans’ stance, wanting almost double the amount – making Alisson the most expensive keeper in world football.
However Madrid are reportedly willing to include add-ons that amount to around £60 million, with Sky in Italy suggesting that personal terms are agreed between the player and club.
If Roma are stubborn on their prize asset, Madrid will likely elevate their interest in Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois – who has also been linked with a move to Liverpool – as the Belgian international enters the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Reds will keep monitoring the situation of the Roma man, who registered 17 clean-sheets in Serie A last season, but will continue pursuing alternatives. Barcelona’s back-up stopper Jasper Cillessen is on the wish-list, according to reports from Don Balon, should Alisson decide to leave for the Spanish capital, or to stay at the Stadio Olimpico next term.
Will Liverpool regret missing out on Thomas Lemar last summer as Atletico agree deal?
Liverpool’s long-spanning target is set for a move to Spain.
Atletico Madrid are said to have agreed a deal with Monaco to sign French winger Thomas Lemar this summer, according to a statement from the official club website, which will leave a number of Premier League sides feeling disappointed.
The 22-year-old is currently away on international duty ahead of the World Cup, but both clubs are reportedly keen on finalising the transfer before then, according to Sky Sports.
The news will come as a blow to Liverpool, who have closely courted the player for a number of years – notably throughout last season – with reports from the Express suggesting Lemar had chosen a move to Merseyside over Arsenal in January.
Jurgen Klopp reportedly made a £55 million bid for the player’s services last summer, but Monaco were unwilling to lose more key members of the team, having already lost Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea, Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain. That meant Lemar and new Reds midfielder Fabinho had to remain at the Stade Louis II for an extra season.
The Reds were likely to revisit their interest in Lemar this summer (the Express), after the collapse of Nabil Fekir’s highly anticipated switch, as Klopp looks to bolster his attacking options having been reminded that squad depth is a powerful thing in the Champions League final.
Rumours surrounding the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri (the Mirror) and Ousmane Dembele (the Express) suggest Liverpool are still prioritising bringing in high-profile attackers and Lemar certainly belongs in that bracket.
His best return came a year ago, with the former Caen forward amassing an impressive 14 goals and 17 assists in all competitions, sparking the initial interest from Europe’s elite.
A year on, the Europa League champions appear to have won the race, and Liverpool will have to look elsewhere.
Fulham homecoming for Mousa Dembele would suit both parties this summer
Blow for Newcastle as Leicester bid big on midfielder Stefano Sturaro
Everton should prioritise landing Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze
Marcos Rojo considering Manchester United future; Everton should swoop
Rafa Benitez should plot Fernando Torres reunion at Newcastle United
Nottingham Forest15 hours ago
Rectifying Patrick Bamford departure would be superb Nottingham Forest business
Wolverhampton Wanderers16 hours ago
Andre Gomes should ignore Tottenham and join Wolves’ Portuguese revolution
Tottenham Hotspur21 hours ago
Tottenham Hotspur round-up: Barrios pleaded, Vecino linked and Eriksen the difference
Everton21 hours ago
Everton round-up: Plattenhardt likely, Diop unlikely and Sigurdsson stars
West Bromwich Albion11 hours ago
Should West Brom have given Ali Gabr a chance at £1.1 million?
Aston Villa20 hours ago
Birkir Bjarnason highlights Steve Bruce error by shackling Messi and co
Everton8 hours ago
Everton fans react as Hirving Lozano puts Germany to the sword
Leeds United20 hours ago
Leeds United round-up: Hernandez competition, Posh strong on Marriott and South Africa interest in talent