Coutinho move could spark spending spree

PARIS: Philippe Coutinho´s 160-million-euro ($192 million) deal to join Barcelona is likely to unleash a series of big-money transfers, not least as Liverpool seek to re-invest the proceeds.

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It took the third largest amount ever paid for a footballer to prise Coutinho away from Liverpool and the rumour mill has already linked the club with Leicester´s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez as a possible replacement for the Brazilian playmaker.

Neither club has officially confirmed or denied the deal, despite reports from France saying Mahrez would have a medical soon at Liverpool.

The club´s number one target, according to many reports, is the French international forward Thomas Lemar, part of the impressive Monaco team that reached the Champions League semi-finals last year but which has since been dismantled.

Arsenal had a £92 million bid ($125 million, 104 million euros) for 22-year-old Lemar rejected in the summer transfer window and the player is reportedly keen to work with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Monaco have already crashed out of the Champions League this season, so Lemar could be open to a move, although coach Leonardo Jardim is reluctant to see one of his remaining star names leave.

“Monaco don´t usually make big sales in the winter,” Jardim said last week.

AFP

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