A fourth signing may be possible if Liverpool’s £40 million deal for Romeo Lavia is successful

Efficiency will be required as Liverpool pursues Romeo Lavia of Southampton as a potential third summer signing.

Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Hove Albion gave Liverpool the head start on their summer hiring, and they now seem to be on the verge of pulling the trigger.

Dominik Szoboszlai’s £60 million transfer from RB Leipzig was completed in less than a week, with the Reds acting quickly to engage after learning the attacking midfielder’s release clause was set to expire at the end of June. There had been rumors of interest before the deal was finalized.

That would have given Leipzig the confidence to either try to hold onto their most prized asset or at the very least, squeeze out more money from the deal than they would have received if his release clause had been used.

Due to their keen eye for a deal, Liverpool sought to underpay in comparison to the player’s true market value, just like they did with Mac Allister. Mac Allister had the option of terminating his employment with Brighton last year, but instead he agreed to an extension, knowing full well that it wouldn’t be completed in 2025. It was done to improve his situation while also lowering Brighton’s risk of losing money if he were to be sold.

With Szoboszlai, a similar strategy was used, but the deal that resulted from his more comprehensive release clause was advantageous for all parties.

For Liverpool, this summer will be crucial in terms of their hiring plan. They need to restructure an aging team by bringing in players with longevity and potential who can help them get over last season’s crushing disappointment of missing out on the Champions League, forcing the Reds to settle for fifth place and the Europa League.

Since Saudi Arabia started taking Fabinho, a defensive specialist, and captain Jordan Henderson seriously, those dynamics have changed. Now that the skipper has passed preliminary medical exams, those two senior men appear to be on their way out. There are still expectations that the Fabinho exit deal will be completed despite some doubts that have surfaced.

So how do the Reds keep on rebuilding? Names like Khephren Thuram and Manu Kone had been strongly linked for a while, as had Mac Allister before his signing at the start of the summer window. Recently, suggestions for additional players have included Cheick Doucoure and Kalvin Phillips.

The ECHO has long reported on interest in Romeo Lavia of Southampton. Lavia, a 19-year-old Belgian, was the standout player of Southampton’s otherwise disappointing 2022–23 Premier League season, which resulted in the Saints being demoted to the Championship after finishing last in the standings.

Lavia signed a five-year contract to transfer from Manchester City to Southampton last summer. Lavia decided to seek out new pastures in an effort to cement his status as one of the Premier League’s most promising young players despite the abundance of quality available to him in the midfield ranks.

By including a £40 million buyback clause in the agreement with the Saints, which would become effective in 2024, City sought to safeguard their own interests. But given how well Lavia has performed in a poor Southampton team, City might now wish the buyback clause was in place a year earlier.

I’m really impressed with what Romeo has done and is doing, City manager Pep Guardiola said in April.
He is held in the highest regard by us.
Although we considered keeping him, we decided that we couldn’t give him as many minutes as he receives at Southampton. “.

Lavia wouldn’t be too eager to risk undoing the good that exposure to first team football has done for his career and reputation, and it’s unlikely that City have any plans to bring him back into the fold at such an early stage. With Arsenal reportedly having an interest in Lavia, Southampton would undoubtedly welcome the interest to start a bidding war.

However, it appears that Liverpool will be the first to take action, with the Athletic reporting today that the Reds have made an “opening offer” of £37 million, which Southampton duly rejected. According to the article, the player’s personal terms are not a problem; the cost is considered to be the last obstacle.

Apparently, it would cost £50 million to make a transfer of Lavia possible. Liverpool may be looking to complete a quick move now that negotiations appear to be fully underway after Arsenal broke their transfer record by paying £105 million to purchase Declan Rice from West Ham United, and with City unlikely to pay above and beyond for a player they sold for £14 million less than a year ago.

This afternoon’s additional reports state that Liverpool’s initial offer was £35m plus add-ons. It remains to be seen if a compromise at or around the £40/45 million mark can be reached when the Reds return with a revised offer.

A key factor is timing. No club buying club wants to engage in a negotiation. Because of his young age and experience playing in England, Lavia would be considered “association-trained” in the European squad list and would not be required to register in the Premier League squad because he is under 21. Southampton will be aware of Lavia’s value to the Reds in addition to his skill set. He would eventually develop into a fully “homegrown” player.

Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

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