With the Season a little over a week away, Liverpool have been left in an unenviable position concerning their recruitment.
The Summer has seen two incomings by way of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai to refresh the heavily depleted midfield, following the departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Naby Keita, leaving the defence the primary area of focus to strengthen. However, the emergence of Saudi Arabian football has seen the club pushed into a reaction to replace the now departed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
The Brazilian has, this week, said his goodbyes to fans and colleagues after completing a £40 million move to the Middle East in the shape of Al-Ittihad following a Silver ladened 5-year stint on Merseyside. This has left a huge void in the number 6 spot, a player who can break up the play and release possession to the attacking third.
Supporters have been relentlessly doing their scouting missions and offering up suitable candidates the club should consider, however, it appears Southampton’s Romeo Lavia is the club’s preferred target. The 19-year-old had a wonderful breakout season in the Premier League notching 29 appearances and scoring 1 goal, reportedly earning plenty of Interest from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and most recently, Manchester United.
Liverpool had hoped to steal a march on their rivals with an initial bid of circa £37m which was rejected, further talks were held, and a subsequent second bid of £40m which again proved unsuccessful. Liverpool has since shifted tac, with Interest declared in Brazilian Andre, the 22-year-old Fluminense midfielder with talks for Lavia ongoing. Andre, however, is not an exact like-for-like alternative for Lavia, as he would be considered a more progressive midfielder.
With Liverpool continuing talks over Lavia, my sources, close to Southampton, have suggested a fee of £48million, inclusive of any favourable add-ons, would be a deal considered acceptable by the Southcoast club.
With time very much ticking in terms of Premier League action, Liverpool will be keen to start concluding prospective deals, Klopp is notorious for ensuring any new recruit gets an embedding period within the squad, and with pre-season almost over, this enhances the need to get the deal closed sooner as opposed to later.
With Numerous reports suggesting a third bid is being submitted in the coming days, It promises to be a very interesting week ahead for the club.
By Jamie Brown