Liverpool are searching for replacements for Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho and Monaco ace Lemar is their top candidate.
With Barcelona ready to pay in the region of £133m for the Brazilian, Liverpool have been working on finding his replacement in the background.
According to Yahoo Sport, Liverpool have held talks with Lemar and the France international is keen on a move to Anfield.
Liverpool, along with Manchester United and Arsenal, were all linked with a move for the midfielder last summer but a deal failed to materialise with Ligue 1 champions Monaco unwilling to sell.
Yahoo say the Reds now need to finalise a fee with Monaco before the move is done.
Journalist Duncan Castles says the Reds are willing to spend the cash on Lemar should Coutinho’s sale go through.
PHILIPPE COUTINHO TO BARCELONA: THE FULL TIME-LINE OF EVENTS
GETTYThomas Lemar is reportedly keen to join Liverpool with Philippe Coutinho heading out
“They have been in negotiations with Thomas Lemar if their asking price for Coutinho is met by Barcelona,” he said on the Transfer Window podcast.
“So the money they will get for Coutinho will mostly go towards signing Lemar from Monaco, should the Coutinho deal happen.”
Arsenal came closest to landing his signature in the previous transfer window but Lemar is not convinced a move to north London would be the best fit for him.
Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his attacking options this month, but he too has been snubbed by the 22-year-old, with Lemar preferring to join the Anfield outfit.
GETTYPhilippe Coutinho could have played his last Liverpool game
It remains to be seen whether Monaco are willing to do business with Liverpool this month but Jurgen Klopp's side are leading the race ahead of their Premier League rivals with Lemar already giving his word he wants to sign.
Lemar, who has been with Monaco since signing from Caen in 2015, has netted twice and provided four assists in Ligue 1 this season.
His current contract with Monaco runs until 2020.
A leading body language expert today claimed Jurgen Klopp is “disappointed” in Coutinho amid the saga.
Darren Stanton is a specialist in analysing the small tells and gestures which reveal what people truly mean.
He has put Liverpool boss Klopp under the microscope after being shown footage of him batting away questions about Coutinho.
Klopp was questioned about Nike advertising Coutinho shirts for sale on their official website. Nike sponsor both Coutinho and Barcelona.
A dismissive Klopp replied: “I heard about it. I couldn't be less interested in anything in the world.”
But Stanton says that the German really is bothered and he is doing his utmost to portray that he isn’t.
Stanton exclusively told Express Sport: “I think overall it’s more disappointment with him, I saw no anger micro expressions just someone trying to mask their true emotion of disappointment.
“Although this is a short clip, it’s quite revealing.
GETTYPhilippe Coutinho is set to join Barcelona
GETTYLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has always maintained his hope that Philippe Coutinho will stay
“As humans we can have hundreds of emotions however it has been discovered that the human face tends to just flash seven - happy, sad, anger, surprise, fear, contempt and disgust.
“When the human face shows an emotion, it flashes it for less than a fifth of second so you have to be quick. We call these micro expressions.
“When assessing someone I’m looking at how body language is working alongside what is being said and how they are saying it.
“This is a great piece of footage because it shows Klopp trying at great length to play down the fact that he is clearly affected at the prospect of losing Coutinho.
“He said he couldn’t be less interested in the Nike report but he shows what is called a bilateral shoulder shrug - or in other words, he lifts his right shoulder slightly.
“The significance of this is when we want to show indifference we tend to shrug both shoulders. Except this gesture is a half attempt at trying to convey that he truly isn’t bothered when in fact he is.”
EPABarcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has spoken out about Philippe Coutinho
Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde dodged questions about Coutinho in his press conference today.
"[Coutinho] is a player for another team," Valverde said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey clash with Celta Vigo tomorrow.
"He is a great player, of course.
"I don't know what will happen
Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona timeline
30 Jan: Philippe Coutinho joins Liverpool from Inter Milan in an £8.5m deal.
Summer: Barcelona first emerge as a serious suitor for Coutinho, although Paris Saint-Germain appear most likely to register their interest.
6 Jan: Jurgen Klopp issues statement telling Barcelona to forget about signing Coutinho.
“We never had any ideas or plans or any talks about him leaving,” Klopp said.
25 Jan: Coutinho signs a new five-year contract at Liverpool. The deal is meant to end Barcelona’s interest in the Brazilian, who will earn £8m a season.
April: Liverpool insist Coutinho is not for sale at ANY price.
1 July: Summer transfer window opens. Bookies install Barcelona as favourites to land Coutinho.
4 Aug: Barcelona reluctantly sell Neymar to PSG in a £200m hostile transfer.
9 Aug: Liverpool reject Barcelona’s first bid of £90m for Coutinho. A second bid is also snubbed.
11 Aug: Coutinho hands in transfer request.
12 Aug: Coutinho makes himself unavailable for Liverpool’s season opener at Watford. He effectively goes on strike.
18 Aug: Liverpool reject a third bid of £114m for Coutinho.
23 Aug: Barcelona consider £138m bid for Coutinho but it is never made.
28 Aug: Despite still not playing for Liverpool this season, Coutinho is declared fit for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers.
1 Sept: Coutinho scores for Brazil on transfer deadline day after realising there will be no late agreement between Liverpool and Barcelona.
13 Sept: Coutinho makes his first Liverpool appearance in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Sevilla.
19 Sept: Liverpool deny they requested a €200m transfer fee for Coutinho.
30 Dec: Nike accidentally publish a promotion for Barcelona players to buy a shirt with Coutinho’s name on the back. Neither Nike nor Barca comment on the leak.
31 Dec: Express Sport understands a £125m deal could be brokered between Liverpool and Barcelona - and that Coutinho may remain on Merseyside until the end of the season.
1 Jan: January transfer window opens and Coutinho has an unexpected thigh injury, ruling himself out of the game at Burnley.
2 Jan: Reports that Coutinho has gone on strike surface.