Liverpool hit with Thomas Lemar January deal setback: Saturday's transfer news and rumours round-up

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Liverpool are keen to reinvest the £142m they received from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho sooner rather than later, and Monaco forward Thomas Lemar is firmly in their sights.

But it has been reported that a move to Anfield will only take place if he can be assured of regular game time by Jurgen Klopp.

The Express this morning claim that Lemar is still nervous of his place in France’s World Cup starting eleven and will not move this January if he feels he will not be an automatic starter for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

That could mean the move is on hold until the summer as Klopp is unlikely to drop one of either Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah in favour of Lemar – who will need time to adjust to the Premier League.

Monaco’s head coach recently acknowledged that Lemar could leave this January, although the club hope to hang onto him for another six months.

“You know how crazy the transfer window is… a club like Monaco cannot say no,” Jardim said. “We haven’t discussed anything with Lemar because he already knows what we want. If I stay at Monaco for 10 years I would want Lemar to stay for 10 years.

“Today the market is open. You know very well how crazy the market is. There are offers that happen that a club like Monaco can’t say no to.”

Wenger wants to stay

Arsene Wenger is determined to stay on for another summer of rebuilding at Arsenal, and still hopes that he will not have to replace both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the same time.

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Wenger wants to stay to rebuild the team again (Getty)

 Admitting for the first time that Sanchez’s departure is inevitable, whether this month or in the summer, Wenger sounded more positive about his two other stars with six months left. He claimed he is increasingly optimistic of reaching a deal with Ozil, if they can agree a salary, and also wants to tie down the fit-again Jack Wilshere to the club.

If Ozil and Wilshere can be secured then Wenger hopes that “the rebuild will be less deep”, and it will not be so hard to launch the club’s 2018-19 Premier League challenge, a job that Wenger is already relishing.

“There is still an opportunity for him to stay, talks are still alive, very much so.

“These guys want to win, and they want to make money as well. So they want a combination of the two, that big clubs can give them. Incidentally he’s won trophies with us. So he wants to fight as well for the Premier League, that’s normal, when you are at that level.”

Mourinho talks up Sanchez move

“I don’t know if it’s ethical or correct to be speaking about players of other clubs,” Jose Mourinho said on Friday. “If somebody speaks of one of my players to tell we are interested, I wouldn’t be very happy.

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Jose Mourinho spoke to reporters before Stoke’s visit on Monday (Getty)

“Sanchez is an Arsenal player. Probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.

“At the general level, what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board, and the owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market. We don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something we don’t believe in that.

“What we believe really is there are some players in football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, March or July, you have to try and that’s it.

“But in relation to Alexis Sanchez, I don’t say a word. The only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player. Apart from that, he is an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this.”

Pardew gives Evans deadline

Alan Pardew has given Arsenal and Manchester City a deadline to sign Jonny Evans from West Bromwich Albion.

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Alan Pardew has given a deadline (Getty)

“It would be inappropriate if I didn’t speak to him a little more candidly than I’m talking to you,” Pardew said. “We have a good respect for each other, looked each other in the eye and told each other the truth.

“It’s not the case he is definitely going. This situation was running in the summer and he stayed. Yohan Cabaye was definitely, definitely going to Arsenal when I was at Newcastle. But he didn’t go.

 “I’ll put in a cut-off date on any transfer. I would say three or four days before the window closes, depending on the business we have done.

“We might be looking to do some business on the last day, if I feel it works for the club and is not harmful to us.”

Done deal!

Leicester City have signed Malian forward Fousseni Diabate from French Ligue 2 side Gazelec Ajaccio on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

Diabate, who can operate as a central striker or on either wing, has played 20 times in all competitions for the French second division club after joining them in the close season following two years with Guingamp.

The 22-year-old, who was a product of the Stade Rennais academy youth system and made his professional debut in December 2016, had represented Mali at the under-20 and under-23 level, Leicester said on their website (http://www.lcfc.com).

“In the past, Leicester have signed good players from Ligue 2 in (Riyad) Mahrez and (Anthony) Knockaert,” Leicester boss Claude Puel told the Leicester Mercury before the deal was announced.

“Diabate has a lot of quality. He has pace and good penetration. He has very good feet and he can make the difference… It is a good opportunity for the future and an interesting player.”

Eighth-placed Leicester take on defending champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league on Saturday.




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