Liverpool will only look to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia this summer if his current club lower their asking price, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Reds have been constantly linked with a move for the Belgian of late, potentially seeing him as the final piece of the midfield rebuild jigsaw at Anfield.
Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have already come in and will hopefully make a world of difference, but a third midfielder is still important between now and the end of the summer transfer window.
It does looks as though Lavia remains Liverpool’s first-choice option to bring in, but a new update from Jacobs for Caught Offside suggests that the Merseysiders won’t pay over the odds for his signature:
“Liverpool will likely add another midfielder and Romeo Lavia is quite high on the list of options. Lavia would be keen on the move, but price is currently a stumbling block. Southampton want £50m for Lavia and Liverpool don’t see him as being worth anywhere near that much. It’s the same for Arsenal and Chelsea.
“Those two clubs are focused elsewhere for now, but can’t be ruled out. Arsenal want to understand if Thomas Partey willleave. And Chelsea are exploring Brighton’s Moises Caicedo with near-daily talks. This is why Southampton are being so firm on price for now. They feel if they wait a little then more suitors may emerge and then they’ll get a bidding war.
“Liverpool view Lavia’s £40m buyback clause – active in 2024 for Manchester City only – as a kind of top-end yardstick for valuation. And given Southampton have been relegated, and Lavia is open to a move, it wouldn’t surprise me if starting offers, should they arrive, were more around the low or mid-£30m mark.
“So it’s fair to say Liverpool’s interest is genuine, but there has been no offer yet and there won’t be unless Southampton drop their price. Liverpool generally only move on their terms and timescale. The recruitment team at Anfield are extremely smart and read the market well. That’s why I think Liverpool are in for an extremely productive window.”
Our thoughts on the latest Lavia to Liverpool update…
While in some ways it is refreshing to see Liverpool being sensible in their approach, not wanting to pay enormous money for signings, Lavia is still someone they should be willing the break the bank for this summer.
At just 19, the Southampton looks an unbelievable prospect who could possibly develop into one of Europe’s premier No.6s over time, which means he could be viewed as the perfect long-term replacement for Fabinho.
The Brazilian was a shadow of his former self last season, and while there is hope that he will return to his best with more legs around him in midfield in 2023/24, he does turn 30 in October and could simply be past his best.
If Liverpool do decide to walk away from a deal to sign Lavia, it is vital that they look for another defensive midfielder as an alternative, with leaving that area of the pitch untouched a big risk heading into the new campaign.