Journalist James Pearce has stated that midfielder Thomas Lemar was on Liverpool’s radar in the summer of 2017, but the transfer fee Monaco demanded at the time was asking too much of the Anfield club.
The Reds were looking to bring Lemar in on deadline day, but it was proving a difficult transfer to pull off as the Frenchman was at Clairefontaine preparing for France’s World Cup qualifier that night against Holland.
At this stage, Liverpool had already submitted bids of £55 million and £64 million, but they were both turned down by Monaco.
Liverpool decided to send out a medical team in case they could reach a deal with the Ligue 1 side, but when Arsenal joined the bidding war. Monaco were then demanding £90 million, which was too much in the eyes of Liverpool.
Lemar did not move that summer, but he eventually did head to Spain the following season to play for Atletico Madrid.
Pearce told The Athletic: “The situation was complicated by the fact the Monaco midfielder was at Clairefontaine preparing for France’s World Cup qualifier that night against Holland. Liverpool had already had bids of £55 million and £64 million turned down with the price continuing to rise.
“Medical staff were dispatched to Paris to carry out a medical if a compromise could be reached but with Arsenal joining the race Monaco’s demands rocketed to £90 million. In the end, Lemar stayed put for another year before joining Atletico Madrid for €60 million (around £52 million).”
At the time, Lemar certainly would have been a handy signing. Now, however, this is arguably a transfer that should never have been even considered by Liverpool.
The Reds already had so much talent in midfield, and that argument is backed up with Liverpool claiming the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup within the past six months.