- Liverpool tasked with replacing Philippe Coutinho after exit at weekend
- Two targets named, but unclear if either will arrive in January
- Klopp could focus on speeding up a deal already agreed
- READ MORE: Liverpool consider going beyond £57m agreement to land January signing
Liverpool saw a key piece in their squad depart at the weekend, and so now the focus will switch to replacing Philippe Coutinho to keep them on track.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are on a 17-game unbeaten streak as they prepare to face Man City when the Premier League resumes next weekend, and they’ve impressed in recent weeks to suggest that they will have a strong chance of finishing in the top four.
Along with the signing of Virgil van Dijk, they look a stronger squad, but that was before Coutinho finally secured his move to Barcelona after a drawn-out transfer saga, with BBC Sport noting that the Catalan giants splashed out £142m on the Brazilian playmaker.
In turn, with their creative spark now moving on, there is a crucial role within the Liverpool side that needs to be filled, and supporters will be hoping that it will be addressed in this transfer window.
According to The Times though, there is no suggestion that they’ve stepped up their moves for either Monaco star Thomas Lemar or Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, although it’s claimed that Klopp could perhaps try to push forward Naby Keita’s arrival.
The RB Leipzig midfielder is set to move to Anfield at the end of the season in a £57m deal, as noted in the report, but Liverpool could try to move earlier and bolster their squad this month in order to keep themselves in contention for a top-four finish.
Mahrez was linked with a £49m move to Anfield at the weekend, with the Metro even noting that the Foxes star would undergo a medical on Sunday, although that evidently failed to materialise.
Meanwhile, Lemar could reportedly cost as much as £100m, according to The Daily Star, and so naturally Liverpool will have to be cautious with that decision given the money involved if they choose to pursue the Frenchman.
It’s going to be difficult to fill the boots left behind by Coutinho as he was key in pulling the strings and feeding the front three for the Reds, and so perhaps unless Keita can arrive earlier than initially planned for, Klopp would be better off waiting until the summer to assess his options fully and still potentially go back for either Mahrez or Lemar.