Liverpool are plotting a jawdropping £175million deadline day spree as they aim to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Virgil van Dijk and Thomas Lemar, according to the Times.
The newspaper claim the Merseyside giants have agreed the £35million signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal after he underwent a medical on Wednesday night and aim to follow up with the captures of Van Dijk and Lemar.
The Times report that Liverpool are prepared to pay more than £70 million for Lemar, the Monaco midfielder, and a similar fee for Van Dijk, the Southampton centre back, although both clubs have indicated that they do not want to sell.
Good move for Liverpool?
It would be super smart business for Liverpool if they could push all three of these deals over the line by the window cut-off. Realistically, most supporters would settle for two of the three. Oxlade-Chamberlain has flattered to deceive for a long time at Arsenal, but there is a sense he needs a different manager, club and environment to unlock his immense potential. Van Dijk is a commanding centre-back who is proven to be one of the outstanding players in his position in the Premier League, although he will take time to build up his fitness after a summer on the Saints sidelines. Lemar has the passing game and creativity to link brilliantly with Sadio Mane and company. Even at the astonishing combined price of £175million, this trio represent value in what is an inflated market. They will instantly turn Liverpool from top-four challengers into bona fide title possibles.
Our rating: 9/10
Likely to happen?
Barring an unlikely last-gasp hitch, the Oxlade-Chamberlain deal is done and he will be a Liverpool player by tonight. The other two are less likely, given the reluctance of their two clubs to sell. Nevertheless, Monaco have cashed in nearly all their prize assets this summer and could be persuaded to do so again, while Southampton have a long history of caving when pound notes are floated in their direction.
Our rating: 6/10