By Aramide Oladipo
Liverpool are plotting to make a move for West Ham United attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claims that the Reds want to bring the 24-year-old to Anfield this summer should playmaker Philippe Coutinho decide to the leave the club.
The Brazilian is reportedly being targeted by La Liga giants Barcelona and Spanish outlet Don Balon recently reported that the Catalan club are planning to offer Liverpool two first-team players in order to land Coutinho.
The newspaper claims that the Hammers are determined to keep the Argentine at the club next season as they feel that they need to send out the message that they are moving forward as a football club.
Lanzini signed for the East London club last summer and he enjoyed a fine debut campaign with the Hammers, scoring eight goals and providing two assists in all competitions.
The midfielder solidified his status as a fan favourite after scoring the winning goal against local rivals Tottenham at the London Stadium in May to dent their title chances.
Lanzini currently has three years remaining on his contract with West Ham.
Football Insider verdict
With the Reds adamant that Coutinho is not for sale, Lanzini is likely to stay with the Hammers for the foreseeable future and he could potentially play a crucial role in helping the club return to the Europa League next season. Liverpool are looking in the right direction in terms of a potential replacement for Coutinho as Lanzini has demonstrated that he has what it takes to produce the goods in the Premier League but he is unlikely to replicate the Brazilian’s incredible influence at Anfield. However, should Coutinho leave, the Reds need to replace him with a world-class talent and at the moment, the Argentine is not in this bracket. Although West Ham are reportedly not willing to sell the Argentine, should Liverpool come in with a substantial offer, it would interesting to see how they respond.
In other Liverpool transfer news, this Reds full-back has agreed a top-flight switch.