Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim has said the club may be open to selling reported Arsenal and Liverpool target Thomas Lemar in the January transfer window.
According to David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, the two Premier League sides are seriously interested in the France international, who is valued at around £90 million by his club.
Speaking about Lemar, Jardim said it would be tough for the Ligue 1 champions to turn down a huge offer.
"You know how crazy the market can be," he said, per Robin Bairner of Goal. "Things can happen that even a club like Monaco can't say no to. It happened at Liverpool. The figures today are very high. Everything can change very quickly. What I tell you today can be different tomorrow."
However, Jardim added: "If I stayed here for 10 years, I'd want Lemar to stay with me for 10 years."
As noted by Sky Sports News' Bryan Swanson recently, Monaco are reportedly not willing to let Lemar go:
Bryan Swanson @skysports_bryan
Nothing yet to suggest Monaco’s transfer strategy has changed - still not looking to sell Thomas Lemar in this month’s window. #SSN2018-1-8 11:40:43
With Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool to join Barcelona for a fee of £142 million, speculation about the Reds signing Lemar has intensified again.
Arsenal were also linked with a transfer in the summer. According to Sky Sports, the Gunners lodged a staggering £92 million offer at the end of the previous window in an attempt to sign the 22-year-old.
The interest in Lemar is a testament to his talent. He established himself as a key man in the Monaco side, helping the team land the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17.
This season has been a little tougher for the midfielder, although as we can see courtesy of Squawka Football, he's beginning to find some form again:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Thomas Lemar has now been directly involved in 5 goals in his last 6 games for Monaco: 3 goals ⚽ 2 assists 🅰️ In fine form. https://t.co/WGwydkF54b2018-1-9 20:24:43
With so much money recouped from the sale of Coutinho, it'd be no surprise if Liverpool reignited their interest in the player.
After all, Monaco showed they were willing to cash in on their brightest stars for the right price in the summer, with Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy all moving on. If a big offer came in for Lemar, you sense they'd be tempted to do the same.
For Liverpool, the Frenchman would fill a creative void that Coutinho's departure has left.
Journalist Jack Lusby suggested getting Lemar would be a step forward for the Reds:
Jack Lusby @jacklusby_
Sign Lemar and Mahrez, with Keita to come in July, and #LFC could be in a better position than they were with Coutinho. But it's still an infuriating decision to sell him midway through a really promising season when he'd already scored 12 and assisted nine in 20.2018-1-7 11:02:46
Arsenal appeared to show the most serious interest in the forward last summer, and Liverpool may not have a clear run at the midfielder as a result.
The Gunners may be close to losing two key attacking stars, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both out of contract at the end of the campaign. Arguably their need to sign the player would outstrip Liverpool's if both of those players were to leave the Emirates Stadium.