Barcelona have reportedly made a surprise approach to seal the transfer of Monaco winger Thomas Lemar ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal and as an alternative should they miss out on Philippe Coutinho.
The Catalan giants have been most strongly linked with the Brazil international for much of the last month or so, but are prepared to look at backup options, also including Antoine Griezmann and Paulo Dybala.
However, they have already sounded out super-agent Jorge Mendes over a possible move for Lemar, due to the Portuguese’s strong links with Monaco, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Lemar shone in Ligue 1 and the Champions League last season, leading to strong interest in him for much of the summer, initially from Arsenal and more recently from Liverpool.
The France international has been identified by the Reds as an ideal replacement for Coutinho amid his links with Barcelona, but in a surprise twist he could end up at the Nou Camp instead of the Brazilian as Liverpool prove tough to negotiate with.
Barca chief Robert Fernandez said yesterday that he hoped to sign one or two more players before the transfer deadline, so it could be that the club will choose to really splash out after receiving a staggering £199million from the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, it seems Coutinho remains Barcelona’s first choice in attack, with Lemar perhaps more likely to head to the Premier League based on reports elsewhere.
The 21-year-old is rumoured to be the subject of a big offer from Liverpool, with around £75million in cash and Divock Origi being offered to Monaco.
Monaco, however, will be under little pressure to sell after losing so many key players this summer, with Kylian Mbappe looking set to follow Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy out of the exit door.
This post has already been read 346 times!