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Liverpool Reportedly Turn To Familiar Figure As Coutinho Replacement

Liverpool Reportedly Turn To Familiar Figure As Coutinho Replacement
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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Conveniently injured last night, it looks very much that Phillippe Coutinho will get his wish to play at the very top level within the next couple of weeks. All he has to do is to chuck away his immediate opportunity to win the, er, biggest prize in the game.

In fairness, Barcelona are a bigger club than Liverpool, but for Coutinho to turn his nose up at the chance to be the key player in a side that could go deep into European's elite competition - ahead of a World Cup - in favour of a stroll to a La Liga title in Spain is curious. One would have thought that the move that suits all parties is one at the end of the season, but Coutinho seems determined to ditch the cold weather in England's north-west as soon as possible.

Therefore, if that happens, Liverpool need to find a replacement ASAP, and to now, the player most-tipped to move to Anfield is Monaco's Thomas Lemar. The Frenchman was subject to interest from Liverpool at the end of the last transfer window, but Arsenal are also sniffing about, and see Lemar as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

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Reports in France today, however, suggest that Liverpool are instead interested in signing a familiar figure. In another surprising turn of events, he's not even playing with Southampton.

Nope, he is in fact managed by a former Southampton manager: Leicester's Riyad Mahrez. L'Equipe are reporting that Liverpool have made the first steps in making an approach for Mahrez, and that while Claude Puel naturally hopes to retain his services, Mahrez has an agreement with the Leicester board that he will be allowed leave if the right offer arrives.

With the incipient Coutinho money sloshing about their pockets, chances are Liverpool won't have too much trouble stumping up the necessary fee.

[L'Equipe]

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