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.
Liverpool round-up: Offer for Robertson; new deal for Grujic; Firmino wants title
Liverpool are preparing a pay rise for Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson may only have joined the Reds last summer, but the Scottish defender is in line for a new contract which will doubles his wages, according to the Mirror. The club have been so impressed by his form since joining from Hull that they want to reward him with a pay rise.
The left-back became a regular for Jurgen Klopp after a slow start to life on Merseyside and more than justified his £10 million fee, which now looks a bargain.
Marko Grujic is set to sign a new deal and depart on loan
After rumours of an exit throughout the summer, Sky Sports say that young midfielder Marko Grujic will sign a new contract at Anfield until 2023 and then head out on loan to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
Grujic spent time with Cardiff as they won promotion from the Championship last season and was expected to return to Wales but a move never came to fruition and he will now go to Germany to continue his development.
Roberto Firmino has discussed his ambitions
Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has spoken exclusively to the Mirror to give an interview in which he made it clear that him and his team-mates are aiming for the Premier League title this season.
“I am optimistic and I believe Liverpool are capable of fighting for the greatest success this season. I also think we have a better team than last season and that the new players will improve the performance of the team. We have shown in the last campaign that our dreams can be fulfilled and that we can return to the path of winning titles. This year, we must not fail and that is the attitude of the players. I’m only interested in Liverpool and winning everything I can with them. We know what it would mean to be champions.”
Firmino discussed his future.
The former Hoffenheim man is a fan favourite at Anfield and clearly has no plans to depart the club in the near future with his sights set on success under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool round-up: Klopp demands more; Klavan explains exit; loans for youngsters
Boss Jurgen Klopp has demanded more from Liverpool‘s fringe players
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that he will not tolerate any complaints from unhappy fringe players this season as he relies on them to make their point on the training ground.
“I cannot make people happy, I never could. Whatever happens on 31 August there will be a specific point where it is clear that is the squad for the next four months until January. Who cannot be happy in these four months being part of the squad at Liverpool I cannot help. Everyone who trains on his highest level – because the decision has already been made that they are good enough to play for Liverpool – has a big chance to be an important part of the team, to stay in the team and all these things.”
The German did not hide his feelings having been forced to leave out the likes of Alberto Moreno and Ragnar Klavan last weekend, whilst Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren remain sidelined. Klavan has since left the club, and as the transfer market enters the final stages in other countries it appears more exits could be on the way.
Ragnar Klavan has revealed that two Liverpool players encouraged him to leave
Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan completed a £2 million move to Serie A side Cagliari on Friday just before the transfer deadline arrived in Italy, and he has explained his decision to leave Merseyside.
“I had offers from several teams, including in other countries, but Cagliari really wanted me. Darijo Srna advised me to come here, as I talked to him via Dejan Lovren. Other Liverpool teammates like Alisson, Salah and Lucas Leiva all spoke highly of Serie A.”
Some fans may have been surprised to see him depart but given that he was entering into the final year of his contract and was unlikely to feature regularly with the likes of Matip, Lovren, Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk ahead of him, it makes sense.
Under 23s set for loan deals
The Liverpool Echo report that the final two weeks of the loan transfer window could see several under 23s players depart the club on loan in search of regular game time, joining the likes of Harry Wilson, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria who have already headed out on loan.
Many of those to feature for the team against Manchester United under 23s on Friday evening spent time out on loan last season, including Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella who was heavily involved in pre-season and was linked with a move away.
Liverpool round-up: Grujic bid rejected; interest in Karius; Brewster nears return
Liverpool have rejected a bid for Marko Grujic
The transfer window may have closed in England but it remains open until Friday in Italy and reports from the Liverpool Echo say that the Reds have turned down an approach from Serie A side Torino for midfielder Marko Grujic. The deal was reportedly a season long loan with an option to buy worth 10 million euros (£9 million).
The Serbian was heavily involved in pre-season after impressing for Cardiff City on loan last season and was expected to return to Wales after helping them earn promotion but a move collapsed.
Besiktas are considering a move for Loris Karius
Turkish newspaper Aksam claim that Besiktas have emerged as candidates to sign German goalkeeper Loris Karius on loan to provide him with an Anfield escape having lost the number one shirt to Alisson Becker after his Champions League final nightmare in Kiev in May.
Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the goalkeeper remain unclear despite publicly giving him a vote of confidence and a loan deal may be an ideal solution. Much could depend on the Turkish team’s pursuit of other targets, including Arsenal‘s David Ospina.
Rhian Brewster is nearing a return to fitness
It was a major blow to Liverpool’s plans for young striker Rhian Brewster when he picked up a serious ankle ligament injury in January, but under 23s manager Neil Critchley has told Goal that he could return to light training as soon as next month after a summer of rehabilitation.
“I’m sure he’ll be doing a few people’s heads in down at Melwood, chomping at the bit and ready to return! He’ll be quite restless. He’s a young boy who loves playing football and wants to play football, so he’ll hugely frustrated at the moment.”
The 18-year-old was training alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to rebuild fitness after signing a new deal to commit himself to the Merseyside outfit despite interest from elsewhere.
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