Liverpool FC told top 21-year-old attacker perfect replacement for Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool should sign Thomas Lemar to replace Philippe Coutinho if the Brazilian moves to Barcelona, according to Phil Thompson

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho Photo: The Sport Review

Phil Thompson is confident Monaco forward Thomas Lemar would be the ideal replacement for Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

The Reds have been fending off interest from La Liga giants Barcelona in the their Brazil international throughout the summer transfer window.

Coutinho has handed in a transfer request but Liverpool have refused to alter their stance that the South American forward is not for sale.

Barcelona are thought to have retained their interest in the Liverpool number 10 although a deal could materialise next summer.

Liverpool emerged as surprise contenders to sign Lemar over the past week or so after the 21-year-old was previously linked with a move to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

The France international scored eight goals and made nine assists in 34 appearances in Ligue 1 last season to help Monaco to win the title ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.

Former Liverpool captain Thompson believes Lemar would be the ideal replacement for Coutinho should the Brazil international leave the Merseyside club.

Thompson told Sky Sports News: “The club have always maintained the stance he’s [Coutinho] going nowhere and quite right because they didn’t have enough time to get somebody in of a similar quality.

“Is anybody as good as Coutinho at the moment? Thomas Lemar fits that bill.

“He’s left-sided, very skilful, more offensive and quick. All of those qualities fit Jurgen Klopp’s bill. If Lemar was to come in, Liverpool would allow Coutinho to go. If Lemar doesn’t come, then Coutinho stays at least for 12 months.”

Coutinho moved to Liverpool in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in January 2013.

The Brazil international scored 13 goals and made seven assists in 31 appearances in the Premier League last term to help Liverpool to secure a top-four finish.

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