Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia is looking to seal a move to Liverpool “today”, according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri.
The Belgian is not in the Saints’ squad for the Carabao Cup first-round tie against Gillingham this evening and Tavolieri says that is because a transfer to the Reds could be imminent:
🔴🇧🇪🚨 Roméo #Lavia not included today on the Cup game with #SaintsFC and was not at the training camp this morning. Player’s side looking for closing the deal today between #LiverpoolFC & #SouthamptonFC.
🔜 More to follow. #PL #LFC pic.twitter.com/YKjmkJ2cEP
— Sacha Tavolieri (@sachatavolieri) August 8, 2023
Jurgen Klopp’s side have already had three bids knocked back for Lavia; the latest being worth a reported £45m.
Southampton are said to be holding out for their £50m asking price and it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will now cede to their demands.
Why does Lavia have a sky-high valuation?
The 19-year-old signed for Southampton from Manchester City for £14m last summer, but there was a sell-on clause included in the deal that means that the Citizens are owed 20% if the Saints decide to offload the player.
Negotiations with the Saints have consequently been rather tough, as they know they will only receive £40m even if Liverpool meet their valuation.
Would Liverpool be overpaying to sign the teenager?
The short answer is ‘yes’. They are paying a premium to bring in the Belgian international, but there is context as to why they may be willing to do so.
Lavia is a highly rated young player, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United having also pursued his signature and, if he does realise his potential, he could be a mainstay of Liverpool’s midfield for many years. For that reason, overpaying now may prove to be worth it in the long run, but it is still a rather big gamble.