Per the piece, Liverpool are interested in signing Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco too, with both him and Mahrez viewed as potential replacements for Coutinho. The Reds are said to be at the head of the chase for Mahrez, who is also attracting attention from Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona.
The speculation has reportedly been dismissed by the Reds, though, per Carl Markham of the Press Association:
Carl Markham @carlmarkham
Understand @LFC have contacted @LCFC directly to tell them they have no interest in winger Riyad Mahrez - among a number of first-teamers left out of the Foxes' FA Cup team at Fleetwood - and speculation is "complete fabrication"2018-1-6 13:20:32
Now that Coutinho has agreed to move to Barcelona on Saturday, the Reds have a void to fill in the attacking third. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all fine players, but Coutinho brought a brilliant creative spark.
Mahrez, although different in style, has been doing something similar for Leicester since arriving in English football in 2014. The winger lodged a transfer request in the summer but ended up staying at King Power Stadium.
He's been closer to the extraordinary levels we witnessed from him during Leicester's run to the Premier League title in 2015-16. Mahrez is difficult to contain at his best, as he darts infield from the right flank, links attacks together and makes telling impressions in the final third.
This season, he's got seven goals and seven assists, showcasing his ability to both create and finish chances. With those figures considered, links to some of the biggest clubs in European football are no surprise.
As we can see here, courtesy of DZ Football, in terms of goals and assists, Mahrez compares favourably to some of the division's best attackers:
DZ Football @DZFootball_en
Goals since August 2015: 🇩🇿 R. Mahrez (30) 🇧🇷 P. Coutinho (28) 🇧🇪 E. Hazard (26) Assists since August 2015: 🇩🇿 R. Mahrez (21) 🇧🇷 P. Coutinho (18) 🇧🇪 E. Hazard (10) World class wizard, @Mahrez22. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/rUWuMsLGGc2018-1-4 18:15:15
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would likely love to have another wide player of such quality in his squad, it's difficult to see exactly where Mahrez would fit into the German's side.
He's at this best on the right, but Salah has been incredibly effective from that position this term. And while Mahrez is versatile, his influence is lessened in any other area of the field.
It also means he wouldn't be a natural replacement for Coutinho if the Brazilian were to leave, as journalist Dharma Bhagalia noted:
Dharma Bhagalia @Kloppholic
You’re only kidding yourself if you don’t rate Riyad Mahrez. Top player, Premier League winner and in his prime years. But Coutinho’s replacement? Definitely not.2018-1-4 15:09:45
Mahrez has shown enough quality and enough consistency in recent years to suggest he's good enough to be playing UEFA Champions League football. And given how much he's brought to Leicester in his time at the club, for the right price the Foxes would surely be open to a sale.
Liverpool don't feel like the right fit for the Algeria international, though. If the Reds are eyeing a player who can provide something similar to Coutinho, there are better options elsewhere.