West Ham star Manuel Lanzini has been identified as Liverpool’s top target to replace Philippe Coutinho in January, according to a report.

The Sun claim on their website that the Premier League giants are preparing for the exit of their Brazilian playmaker, with a £115million move to Barcelona mooted.

As a result Jurgen Klopp has reportedly been making plans for after his departure, and is eyeing a move for the Hammers’ Argentinian international to take his place at Anfield.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who plays in a central attacking role similar to Coutinho, has been in fine form this season, despite missing the opening fixtures through injury, and has seven assists and a single goal in his 15 appearances.

It is said that Liverpool can be expected to pay upwards of £40million for the Hammers star, but are said to be likely to wait until the summer as they look to keep a hold of Coutinho during the January transfer window.

Football Insider verdict

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West Ham will be torn over reports of Liverpool lining up Lanzini, with the midfielder having been a star performer for the Hammers since his arrival in east London. However, the thought of £40million in their back pocket might be too good an offer to turn down. Is Lanzini worth that much? It is tough to say considering the way prices have risen over the years, but when you consider that is around the same price that Manchester United paid for Nemanja Matic, then it may well be argued Liverpool are overspending. Still, the Hammers could use the investment sooner rather than later, so may be hoping for Barcelona to snap up Coutinho in January.

In other West Ham transfer news, the club have been handed a boost in their pursuit of an international forward.

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