Liverpool have been dealt yet another setback in their pursuit of Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia on Monday evening.
As per The Athletic, the Reds’ third offer for the 19-year-old – thought to be worth £46m – has been rejected by the Championship club, who are sticking rigidly to their £50m valuation, a figure the Merseysiders believe to be ‘inflated’ for a player with just one season of first-team football to his name.
It’s left the Anfield hierarchy needing to weigh up whether to go back with one more increased bid or admit defeat and move on to other targets, with the transfer deadline drawing ever closer.
The news has left Jamie Carragher fuming, with the ex-Liverpool defender posting on social media: “This is embarrassing. Liverpool for years now have got deals done quickly with no fuss. If you don’t think he’s worth 50M move on, if you really want him pay it.”
This is embarrassing.
Liverpool for years now have got deals done quickly with no fuss.
If you don’t think he’s worth 50M move on, if you really want him pay it.
Also not sure why LFC aren’t in for Caicedo, yes it’s a lot of money but Liverpool got big money for JH/FAB 🤷♂️ https://t.co/nNP05udQP8
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 7, 2023
Liverpool are now at a delicate crossroads in terms of what to do next when it comes to Lavia. Do they go again in the belief that they’re simply in too deep to walk away just yet, or do they refuse to be extorted into paying more than they believe he’s worth and switch their focus elsewhere?
The Reds shouldn’t allow themselves to be bullied into paying over the odds for transfer targets, but a gap of £4m doesn’t seem unbridgeable for a player who Jurgen Klopp sees as ‘the perfect replacement’ for Fabinho, according to The Athletic.
Thankfully, not all of LFC’s eggs are in the Lavia basket. They’re also thought to be eyeing up possible moves for the likes of Andre Trindade, Moises Caicedo and Ryan Gravenberch, with the clock ticking towards the 1 September deadline all the while.
You’d like to think that, even if Liverpool ultimately accept defeat in the chase for the Southampton youngster, they won’t let the transfer window pass without recruiting at least one more midfielder, having sanctioned the exits of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho recently.
It’s not unthinkable that the Reds could go back once more with a bid which meets the Saints’ £50m asking price, but the time has come for them to be prepared to go big on other targets if they continue to be shut down by the Saints.
Whatever might happen over the next 25 days, we absolutely can’t afford not to add another midfielder before the deadline passes.