Why Thomas Lemar Didn't Join Liverpool Before Atlético Madrid Move

Liverpool's nosebleed-worthy ascent to the top of the game over the last few years, aided by some of the best transfer business ever seen in the Premier League, means it is difficult to envision a situation in which they fail to get their man. 

While deals for ​Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and a host of others have proved monumentally successful, they did infamously fail to land Nabil Fekir from Lyon at the final hurdle in 2018. 

Slightly less renowned, but still prominent at the time, was a 2017 approach for then-Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar. The Frenchman was touted as the fourth major signing of a window that famously kick-started the Jurgen Klopp era, but ​the Reds ultimately had to settle for just Salah, Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

Mohamed Salah

It wasn't clear why the Lemar deal failed to materialise in the 2017 window, with vague conflicting reports suggesting that Arsenal had jumped to the front of the queue, while others claimed that Monaco simply did not want to sell. 

​The Athletic's James Pearce, however, has been detailing a number of signings which weren't to be at Anfield, and has explained that it was Monaco's inconsistency over their asking price which ultimately tanked the transfer. 

He claims Liverpool's failure to sign the player wasn't for the want of trying, with the Reds doing all they could to make it happen. The deal was complicated by the player being off on France duty as negotiations pressed on, but members of Liverpool's medical staff are said to have joined him in Paris to conduct a medical if a deal could be reached. 


However, after two separate bids worth £55m and £64m were rejected, it proved to be unattainable. Monaco hiked the price up to £90m at the last minute after Arsenal's interest gave them hope of a bidding war, and he eventually stayed at Monaco for the season ahead. 

He would join ​Atlético Madrid one year later, for £3m less than Liverpool's lowest offer.

If that fact doesn't justify the current European champions' refusal to negotiate further, however, then their progress since certainly has. Their front three of Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino has developed into a formidable force, with even the later departure of Philippe Coutinho failing to knock them off their stride. 

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Source : 90min