One journalist who attended Southampton’s pre-season friendly against Bournemouth on Tuesday night seems convinced that Romeo Lavia will join Liverpool this summer.
The Athletic reported this morning that the Reds are set to make a second offer for the 19-year-old after their initial £37m bid was rejected.
The Belgian midfielder played for the Saints last night but was substituted at half-time, and freelance reporter James Green couldn’t help but notice some telling body language from the player during his time on the pitch.
He tweeted: “At St Mary’s tonight and Romeo Lavia looked decidedly uninterested during the first half. Head down, often walking around, showed glimpses of his class, but looked like a player wanting a move away. Taken off at half time.”
He added in a follow-up tweet: “To me, the player looked like he had the weight of the world on him, which is unsurprising. A 19 year old who’s just had an offer from Liverpool turned down by his club and then comes out to play 45 minutes. Very likely a deal will be agreed soon.”
Often when players are at the epicentre of such intense transfer speculation during pre-season, they don’t partake in their club’s fixtures.
Liverpool have seen that with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, neither of whom played in the recent games against Karlsruher and Greuther Furth. Indeed, the former didn’t even travel to Germany for the Reds’ training camp.
It’s interesting that, by contrast, Lavia continued to line out for Southampton amid the ongoing links with a move to Anfield, but it’s understandable that his focus could be blurred by the increasingly viable prospect of a major career decision.
Fans might sometimes read more than meets the eye into certain clues of a potential transfer during the summer months and duly jump the gun, but for Green to pick up on the nature of the Saints midfielder’s body language could well suggest that the player may soon be on the move.
Allied with David Ornstein’s assertion this morning that there’s a ‘high chance’ of the deal getting done, it looks ever likelier that we won’t have to wait much longer until the 19-year-old is pictured at Anfield proudly displaying a Liverpool shirt with his name on it upon signing for the Reds.
You can see Green’s tweets below, via @JamesGreenInUK on Twitter:
To me, the player looked like he had the weight of the world on him, which is unsurprising. A 19 year old who’s just had an offer from Liverpool turned down by his club and then comes out to play 45 minutes. Very likely a deal will be agreed soon
— James Green (@JamesGreenInUK) July 26, 2023