Liverpool is a £55million star’s preferred destination despite receiving interest from a Premier League rival.
Liverpool hope has been boosted in their quest to sign Romeo Lavia as the Southampton star still wants to make a move to Anfield, but journalist Ben Jacobs has told GIVEMESPORT that the dynamic could change for a key reason.
The Reds have spent in the region of £100million ahead of their season opener against Chelsea on Sunday, but boss Jurgen Klopp is seeking further reinforcements with the September 1 transfer deadline looming.
As per Sky Sports, Liverpool remain interested in Lavia despite Chelsea being close to reaching an agreement with Southampton.
The report says the west Londoners remain in talks with the Belgium international’s current employers, who are holding firm on their valuation after he made 34 appearances last season.
Liverpool have been desperate to recruit Lavia since the summer window opened for business, but three bids worth up to £45million have been turned down by Southampton.
Although the Merseyside outfit’s struggles in reaching a compromise with Saints led to Chelsea looking to hijack the move by submitting a £48million proposal last week, he has remained on the south coast for now.
Uncertainty over Lavia’s future has led to him not being included in Southampton’s matchday squad for their last two fixtures, while he was an unused substitute when they got their season underway with a win at Sheffield Wednesday.
Saints chief Russell Martin has admitted that the central midfielder is not in the right frame of mind to feature, although a conclusion to the saga is edging closer with Chelsea aiming to wrap up a £55million deal.
Transfer insider Dean Jones recently told GIVEMESPORT that Klopp is eager to win the race for Lavia and mould him into a Liverpool talisman.
Although Brighton & Hove Albion defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo is not interested in joining Liverpool, despite a British-record £111million fee being agreed, Jacobs understands that Lavia is keen on making the move.
But the revered journalist has warned the situation could change if the Merseyside giants choose to walk away from a potential deal amid Chelsea upping the ante in their pursuit.
Jacobs told GIVEMESPORT: “The thing about Lavia is that it’s not necessarily just a money deal because Liverpool and Chelsea are in the same broad ballpark.
“Everyone knows that Southampton are looking for £50million or more and, naturally, they may ask for a little bit more if they do have two genuinely active suitors.
“But the feeling still remains, from sources, that Lavia would quite like to move to Liverpool. With Lavia, the ball is in Liverpool’s court. How do they respond to Chelsea’s bid? Are they prepared to match it or even go higher?
“If so, I think Lavia is still quite likely to end up at Liverpool. But, obviously, if Liverpool walk away, the dynamic changes.
“We’re going to have to wait and see on that one. But, make no mistake, Chelsea are there for Caicedo. They’re pushing for Caicedo and he has been their number one target all summer.”