With Liverpool confirming on Saturday that Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona was nearing completion, attention now turns to how the Reds will spend their £142million windfall.
Of course, they could look to keep the money safe this winter, content with their £75m purchase of Virgil van Dijk, before spending it in the summer.
But that is no fun, is it? So here are the latest reports as to how the money will be spent.
BeIN SPORTS in France, who hopefully employ a native version of Richard Keys, say Riyad Mahrez is Liverpool’s top transfer target this month. A translated version of the story suggests a medical will go ahead on Sunday.
The move will cost €55m, and Mahrez will sign a contract until June 2022. Job done.
Or not, because reports in England refute the story. Sky Sports say Liverpool ‘are not interested’ in the Algerian winger. There has been ‘no contact’ between the two clubs. Sky add that Leicester would want more than £50m for Mahrez either way.
The Leicester Mercury corroborate claims that Liverpool don’t want Mahrez, while the Press Association report the same.
Understand @LFC have contacted @LCFC directly to tell them they have no interest in winger Riyad Mahrez – among a number of first-teamers left out of the Foxes' FA Cup team at Fleetwood – and speculation is "complete fabrication"
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 6, 2018
But Sky do say that ‘Jurgen Klopp is in the market for a creative forward, similar to Coutinho’. They give no names; others do.
The Liverpool Echo say that Thomas Lemar ‘is still top of their wanted list’. The Monaco forward was linked with both them and Arsenal in the summer, but stayed with Monaco instead. Liverpool’s interest has not waivered.
The problem Liverpool may have is that they ‘acknowledge even a mammoth bid may not be enough to change Monaco’s stance,’ which is that Lemar is not for sale this month.
Three other names are thrown into the hat: Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen, Julian Draxler of Paris Saint-Germain, and
JulianLeon Goretzka of Schalke.
Of course, the only outlet anyone is bothered about is that Daily Express. They have handily published an article headlined: ‘Philippe Coutinho replacement: Most likely Liverpool transfers in January’
The story, featuring a gallery of ten pictures, includes the names of Max Meyer, Inaki Williams and Alex Teixeira.
Oh, and Stefan de Vrij and Kevin Trapp. A centre-half and a goalkeeper. In a story headlined ‘Philippe Coutinho replacement’.
The list is also taken from FootballWhispers.com, which is just wonderful.