Liverpool supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side narrowly beat Burnley on New Year’s Day, setting them up perfectly for the Merseyside derby against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup this evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the Clarets earlier this week off the back of consecutive wins over Swansea City and Leicester City, results which stretched their unbeaten Premier League run to 12 games. And they were made to work for number 13 at Turf Moor as a Ragnar Klavan header deep into added time sealed the victory for the Reds, who has earlier seen Johann Gudmundsson cancel out Sadio Mane’s excellent opener to almost preserve a point for Sean Dyche’s side.
Subsequently, there have been many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are eagerly anticipating the visit of Sam Allardyce’s Toffees in the FA Cup tonight, while others have been intrigued by a recent report from The Liverpool Echo, which details quotes from Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim regarding the future of Reds target Thomas Lemar.
The 22-year-old played a key part in the French club’s incredible success last season by netting 14 goals and laying on 17 assists in their run to the Ligue 1 title, as well as reaching the last four of the Champions League.
Since then, his future at the club has been subject of speculation with Liverpool reportedly interested in the last few months, yet manager Jardim has dealt the Reds a blow by admitting that his side are not in the business of selling their best players mid-season.
He said: ‘Monaco are not in the habit of making big sales in the winter. It’s our strategy. The players understand and they know how it goes here.’
And these comments are unlikely to provide Liverpool boss Klopp with much hope in his quest to land Lemar this month, with this seemingly unwelcome turn suggesting that the Merseysiders may need to pursue other transfer targets between now and January 31.
Landlord’s verdict: Thomas Lemar’s exploits for Monaco last season were simply outstanding and were always going to attract attention – Arsenal reportedly agreed a fee with the French side in the summer only for no deal to materialise.
And although things haven’t quite gone as well this time round, the 22-year-old remains in the thoughts of Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp, yet the Reds’ pursuit of the forward appears to have taken an unwelcome turn as Monaco chief Leonardo Jardim has all but ruled out the sale of the Frenchman.
But with Philippe Coutinho almost certain to be leaving Anfield, be it this month or in the summer, Klopp will surely need to bolster his forward ranks, thus potentially forcing him to pursue other transfer targets over the coming weeks.
Liverpool fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!