Monaco are adamant Liverpool target Thomas Lemar won’t be leaving the club this month, with their focus on achieving their objectives this season.
Despite this, Liverpool look unlikely to make further additions before Wednesday night’s deadline, with their primary targets unavailable.
One of those players is France international Lemar, with Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev telling RMC that the 22-year-old would “100 percent” not be allowed to leave this month.
“We will say no because the objectives are clear. Without important players like Lemar, we will not succeed,” he explained.
“It could have had a very negative impact on the team [if he left] and maybe we would not be [challenging] this year.”
This serves as an emphatic statement from the Ligue 1 side, with Vasilyev stressing in no uncertain terms that Lemar will not be sold regardless of the offer on the table.
It is the opposite stance that has set Liverpool apart from their Premier League rivals this January, with the sale of Coutinho increasingly concerning.
Barcelona’s bid of £142 million was too good to turn down from a business perspective, but the failure to replace the Brazilian immediately could be costly in terms of performance.
Their inability to break down two deep-sitting sides highlights the need for more creativity from midfield.
Vasilyev’s comments underline the difficulty in signing top-level players mid-season, and they do go some length to explaining Klopp’s rationale in waiting for his priority targets.
But they also serve to further illuminate Liverpool’s questionable decision in weakening their squad halfway through a promising campaign.