Chelsea make move for long-term Liverpool target Romeo Lavia 

Chelsea have made a bid for Southampton midfielder, Romeo Lavia. The Belgian 19-year-old is subject to a £48 million, inclusive of add-ons, offer. Which is expected to be rejected.

Liverpool have been admirers of Lavia throughout the transfer window and have seen no less than 3 bids rejected, however, talks have continued. Late last night saw Chelsea enter the mix. Chelsea themselves have been embroiled in something of a saga with their own midfield interest, Moises Caicedo, with Brighton holding out for a deal of £100 million, allowing only £10 million to be made up of performance-related add-ons.

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Sources at World In Sport had, at the end of July, suggested that £48 million, inclusive of add-ons, would be enough to get a deal over the line, with that now seemingly matched, it would appear Southampton will use the added bid to levy any deal to the originally desired £50m.

Liverpool have, so far, baulked at the £50 million asking price, after their initial two offers of £34m plus £4m and £42m were turned down, the Merseysiders returned with an offer of £46m but that was also by the Championship club.

It is our understanding that Southampton had grown somewhat tired of the drawn-out negotiations and subsequently got in touch with Joe Shields, Chelsea’s and former Southampton Director of Recruitment, which has, evidently, secured a bid.

It remains to be seen if this is a mutually beneficial gamesmanship, Southampton drawing the bid out of Liverpool and Chelsea pushing the Caicedo deal, what can be said, is that it has made the whole transfer very interesting indeed.

Chelsea has made some in-roads with the Caicedo negotiations, with the basic structure of any prospective deal agreed upon, however, the final outlay is still needing to be found, a solution to this is believed to be not too far away, with the Londoners wanting to have Caicedo available for the season opener against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

For Liverpool, it’s a case of further talks with Southampton, a decision is very much needed as to whether they are willing to pay £50 million for a player with only 29 Premier League appearances to his name, A player that the Saints paid a mere £10.5million to Manchester City for, only last summer. what are the alternatives and how will that outlay impact plans for any potential further additions.?

Liverpool are in the market for further midfielders following the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, with Jurgen Klopp underlining the need to further protect his defence.

“That would be not a bad idea,” Klopp said last month when asked about midfield reinforcements. “We know that we have to do something there, it is absolutely clear. We are obviously working on solutions.”

Romeo Lavia has maintained his desire to move to Anfield, this was felt to be Liverpool’s playing piece in negotiations, however, with Chelsea now firmly a part of talks, there is a clear route back to Premier League, perhaps weakening that stance for the Reds. These are telling days and hours ahead for Lavia and Liverpool.

Jamie Brown

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