Talks with Southampton over Romeo Lavia’s future look set to wage on into the new season after Liverpool submitted a fourth new bid for the Belgian’s services.
Neil Jones opened up on the transfer in his exclusive column with CaughtOffside, noting that the club had clearly circled back to the Saints star despite sources originally suggesting that the £50m asking price for the teenager was ‘excessive’.
“Liverpool sources were saying earlier in the summer that £50m for Lavia was excessive, but that was before the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson amplified their need for a midfielder,” the reporter wrote.
“I get the impression that the club have looked at the market for potential No.6s/deep-lying midfielders and have not been too impressed, hence the fact they’ve circled back to Lavia.
“He’s certainly a gamble, given his age, the amount of games he’s played and the fact he’s a very different kind of player to Fabinho, more of a builder than a destroyer.
“The plus side is that he clearly has a high ceiling, his wages are relatively low and he wants to come to Liverpool. My feeling is that a compromise will be found, but it probably should have been found already.”
The Merseysiders have looked a force of nature as far as their offensive department is concerned, though midfield and defensive issues look set to be amplified once again this coming term should an appropriate number six not be sourced in time.
Coming close to Southampton’s valuation on the second (and presumably third) attempt, we’d like to think it’s only a matter of time before the two clubs shake hands on a deal.
The lack of haste in this matter is, of course, a little concerning given that a third midfield transfer had already been mooted well before Jordan Henderson and Fabinho’s exit.
In that sense, the club simply can’t get away without landing a further two additions to address the five exits from the middle of the park this summer.
Regardless of repeated criticism of the value the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brought to the squad, we can’t be allowed to face a fresh campaign with three midfielders short on what we had available in 2022/23.