Liverpool look to Mahrez as Coutinho replacement

Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Barcelona is getting closer with everyone accepting when not if.

Now the Merseyside club have cast their eye to possible replacements – the latest being Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. ​

The Algerian international has seen his star rise exponentially since joining the Foxes three years ago, playing a major role in securing the club’s Premier League title in 2016 which saw him named as the PFA Player of the Year by both the fans and players.

Despite having a contract which runs until 2020 at the King Power Stadium, 26-year-old Mahrez sought a move in the summer as he held ambitions to play at a club in the top six of the Premier League.

Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea are all understood to have registered their interest in Mahrez, but according to ​L’Equipe Liverpool are leading the race having already made contact with Leicester over a potential deal.

Although Leicester manager Claude Puel is hopeful of keeping hold of Mahrez, earlier reports suggested the Foxes will be willing to part with their star player should an offer be received which ​meets their valuations, a positive sign for the Reds should they pursue a deal to fill the gap left by Coutinho.

Liverpool are still interested in signing Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as both players are said to be seen as worthy replacements for the Brazilian.

Mahrez has scored seven goals and provided seven assists in the Premier League this season having rediscovered his scintillating form which earned him numerous accolades during the Foxes title winning season.

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