According to Sky Sports Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg, Liverpool are in “concrete negotiations” with Southampton to sign Romeo Lavia and the player now wants to join the club this summer.
Liverpool have been back in training and preparing for the new season over the last few weeks, however, it hasn’t been all plain sailing in terms of transfer business so far, especially outgoings.
The Saudi Pro League clubs have been making multiple moves to capture the available talents in the Premier League and across Europe, with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho the two Liverpool stars being targeted this summer.
Should moves be completed for both, Jurgen Klopp will have lost a large number of his experienced midfielders in the heart of his team with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner also departing earlier this month upon the expiration of their contracts.
Indeed, the Reds have wasted no time in getting their incoming business completed as both Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister were acquired well ahead of the squad’s return to the AXA training ground over a fortnight ago.
However, with Fabinho and Henderson looking likely to not be Liverpool players next season, it leaves Klopp and his new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke with the challenge of replacing them in the deep-lying and defensive midfield roles.
Plettenberg took to Twitter this morning to provide a fresh update on the Merseysiders’ pursuit of former Manchester City youth academy graduate, Lavia:
“News Romeo #Lavia: Understand that #LFC is the top favorite now! Lavia wants to join Liverpool and has given the ? light!”
“?? No agreement between the clubs yet but concrete negotiations are ongoing”
“?? His price valuation was around £50m. #Klopp wants him! @SkySportDE”
Our thoughts on Liverpool’s interest in Romeo Lavia…
There is no doubt that Klopp will want his business wrapped up well before Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next month, so there is a lot of work to be done over the next few weeks.
Lavia is a player who has been consistently linked with a move to Anfield ever since the start of the summer transfer window and is clearly seen as an obtainable asset due to Southampton’s relegation to the Championship.
Despite their plight, Saints are willing to put up a fight to keep hold of their exciting prospect, who was a stand-out performer in his first season at St Mary’s, slapping a £50m price tag on the defensive midfielder’s head to deter interest.
Over 29 top-flight appearances last season, the 19-year-old whiz tallied up an 86% pass completion rate, successfully completed 68% of his dribbles and won 56% of his aerial and ground duels combined.
Not only that, Lavia ranks in the top 30% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for pass completion, tackles, interceptions and blocks, proving that he is one of the hottest defensive midfield prospects in Europe at the moment, as per FBref.
Replacing Fabinho with Lavia could be risky due to his lack of experience playing at the highest level, however, Klopp has proven on numerous occasions that he has no trouble turning raw talent into trophy-winning superstars.
With that being said, the signing of Lavia would be a major coup for the next generation of success at the club and if they can secure a good deal it would set up Liverpool’s midfield for years to come.