According to The Times’ Northern correspondent Paul Joyce, Liverpool are readying their second bid for Southampton star Romeo Lavia – an approach that is set to be a lot closer to the recently relegated club’s valuation.
Liverpool are in desperate need of more defensive-minded midfielders following the departure of both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho over the last week.
Jurgen Klopp had kicked off his midfield rebuild with the signing of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, however, upon the return to pre-season training it was revealed that another two experienced mainstays were looking at exits from Anfield.
Club captain Henderson decided to join Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League, whilst Brazilian star Fabinho has opted to follow his teammate to Saudi Arabia via Al Ittihad – leaving Klopp short of experience in the deep-lying roles of the centre of the pitch.
The influential and successful midfield duo depart after Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner also moved on following the expiration of their contracts this summer.
As a result, there is now some late business to be done to ensure there is enough talent, quality and experience in the defensive roles in front of the back four, with a fresh update on the club’s pursuit of the player emerging.
In an article written for The Times, Joyce has revealed that Liverpool are ready to submit a second offer for Lavia which is believed to be a £45m package – still £5m short of Southampton’s £50m valuation.
An offer of £34 million, plus £4 million in add-ons was rejected last week by the Championship club, but with their campaign kicking off later this week and reinforcements still needed at St Mary’s Liverpool are hopeful they can convince them to part ways with their exciting youth prospect.
Our thoughts on Liverpool’s move for Romeo Lavia…
There is no doubt that the Anfield faithful will warmly welcome the arrival of Lavia, should Saints agree the proposed fee, as time is running out for Liverpool to bolster their midfield ahead of next season.
The Reds will return to action in their Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge on the Sunday 13th of August, leaving less than two weeks to wrap up their business before they face Chelsea.
Lavia – who is a product of the Manchester City youth academy – is a confident and resilient defensive midfielder who, despite being relegated from the top flight last season, was a stand-out performer in his debut campaign as a first team regular.
Over 29 Premier League appearances, the 19-year-old ace scored one goal, tallied up an 86% pass completion rate and won 56% of his aerial and ground duels combined, as well as averaging one successful dribble, 1.1 clearances, 2.1 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game, according to SofaScore.
talkSPORT pundit and former Aston Villa frontman Gabby Agbonlahor has waxed lyrical about Lavia and claimed he is the “missing piece of the jigsaw” for Liverpool, in an interview with Football Insider:
“Lavia is the missing part of the jigsaw,”
“Liverpool need a defensive midfielder who can get the ball back, have legs and can also play and set off attacks.”
“They can start a new season and say their three centre midfielders are new signings, which is what everyone has been saying they need.”
With that being said, the signing of Lavia makes perfect sense and it will be interesting to see if Southampton are willing to accept the offer from Liverpool.