According to Football Transfers journalist Jacque Talbot, Southampton star Romeo Lavia is keen on a move to Liverpool this summer, although his transfer fee has become a stumbling block for Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool have already been incredibly active in the summer transfer window with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai confirmed ahead of pre-season training commencing next week.
Jurgen Klopp has been working alongside his new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke to identify the next generation of talent for the midfield rebuild that was desperately needed following the exit of Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of the season.
In recent days and weeks, the Reds have been continuously linked with a move for Manchester City academy graduate Lavia, a young player who has been a standout performer at Southampton despite their relegation to the Championship last season.
So much so that the teenage sensation has had a reported £50m price tag put on his head to deter interest from Premier League clubs looking to harvest talent from their recently relegated squad, and now a new claim has been made on Liverpool’s pursuit of the player.
Talbot took to Twitter to reveal:
“Hear Liverpool have received positive indications from Romeo Lavia that he would like to play under Jurgen Klopp but the £50million fee that the Southampton have stuck on their midfielder means that the Reds are prepared to play the long game.”
Our thoughts on a move for Romeo Lavia…
There is no doubt that the Anfield faithful will be thrilled with the business already done at the club this summer, as refreshing the midfield personnel has been a long-term desire of many.
Before now, Thiago Alcantara’s arrival three years ago was the last time that Liverpool signed a midfielder on a permanent basis and it showed when the Reds struggled to dominate games last season, finding themselves being out-run by opponents almost every week in the Premier League.
The acquisition of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai has given Klopp a real boost in the attacking-minded and energetic presences to pose a threat, however, there is still an opportunity to strengthen the more defensive roles in midfield ahead of next season.
It is no secret that Fabinho has struggled to maintain the high standards Liverpool fans have become accustomed to seeing over the years, which has often led to the Brazilian being left out of starting line-ups or replaced with Stefan Bajcetic to inject some much-needed energy into the role.
As a result, the signing of Lavia could be exactly what the team needs to add the final piece of the puzzle in their midfield refresh, as he is both Premier League proven and a young hungry talent who could be a valuable asset for years to come.
Whilst the 19-year-old ace is still developing and polishing his skills, he has already shown glimpses of his potential whilst playing for Saints last season, potential that could be unlocked by Klopp just like many before him.
Over 29 Premier League appearances, Lavia tallied up an 86% pass completion rate, successfully completed 68% of his dribble attempts and won the majority of his ground and aerial duels combined (56%), as well as averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game, proving that he is a really consistent and confident defensive presence on the pitch.
With that being said, it would be a no-brainer for Liverpool to sign Lavia this summer if they can convince Southampton to part ways with their youngster for a lower price, as he could be the perfect understudy for Fabinho next season and a worthy successor for the future.