Liverpool are prepared to move quickly to fill the breach left by Philippe Coutinho's imminent departure – with Thomas Lemar still top of their wanted list.

Coutinho is on the brink of an exit after the Reds agreed a £142million deal to sell the player to Barcelona.

The transfer is expected to be completed within the next 24 hours with the Brazilian having flown out to Spain on Saturday evening to complete the formalities of the deal.

Jurgen Klopp is keen to ensure Liverpool's season is not threatened by Coutinho's departure with the Reds on a 17-game unbeaten run – their longest such sequence in more than 20 years – that sees them challenging in the Premier League top four, through to the last 16 of the Champions League and into the FA Cup fourth round.

Liverpool were keen on signing Monaco's French international Lemar on deadline day last summer but couldn't agree a deal with the Ligue 1 side.

Klopp, though, remains an admirer of the 22-year-old attacker, who has also previously attracted interest from Arsenal.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim this week revealed they had no intention of parting with Lemar this month.

And Liverpool acknowledge that even a mammoth bid may not be enough to change Monaco's stance.

The Reds are therefore keeping their options open, although suggestions they are chasing a deal for Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez are premature.

Previous interest has also been shown in Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt, Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler and Schalke's Leon Goretzka.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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