Liverpool have medical staff on standby as they push for a club-record deal to sign AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The Reds are hoping to secure a flurry of late arrivals in the closing stages of the summer window, with Lemar a surprise target for Jurgen Klopp.
Reports of the German’s interest in the 21-year-old emerged on Monday, with Liverpool now believed to be prepared to pay Monaco a club-record £75 million fee.
This has not been affected by the imminent arrival of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal, who is undergoing a medical ahead of a £35 million switch to Merseyside.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds “have yet to admit defeat,” despite the proximity to the end of the window on Thursday at 11pm (BST).
This is not aided by the fact Lemar is currently with the France squad, as they gear up for their World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France the same night.
However, Liverpool have staff ready to make the trip to Paris to oversee a medical if a deal can be agreed.
Monaco have so far shown no sign of allowing Lemar to leave, having reportedly rejected the Reds’ previous bids of £55.5 million and £64.8 million.
But the arrival of Keita Balde from Lazio on Tuesday may have softened their stance, with the Senegalese winger arguably a readymade replacement for Monaco’s No. 27.
Liverpool’s confidence in a deal may be indicated by their willingness to part ways with Divock Origi.
Origi is expected to join Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg on a season-long loan before the German transfer window closes at 5pm on Thursday evening (BST).
The 22-year-old is also in action that night, having been called into Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad for their qualifying clash with Gibraltar in Brussels.
The Reds are similarly prepared to force through a late, £70 million move for Virgil van Dijk, though negotiations with Southampton could prove even more problematic.