Liverpool have new transfer ‘priority’ but ‘strong’ Arsenal interest could scupper move for £50m man

Lewis Oldham
Reported Liverpool targets Khephren Thuram (right) and Romeo Lavia (left).
Liverpool have been linked with Nice's Khephren Thuram and Southampton's Romeo Lavia.

Liverpool have reportedly made Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia their new “priority” transfer target but they face “strong” competition from Arsenal.

The Reds have been busy this summer as they have spent a combined £95m to sign Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from Brighton and RB Leipzig respectively.

They are not stopping here, though. It is suspected that Liverpool are in the market for one more midfielder, while they are also looking to sign a young defender.

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram has been heavily linked with Liverpool in recent weeks but Southampton’s Lavia has emerged as an alternative target. 

The 19-year-old joined the Saints from Man City last summer and he was one of their standout players during their relegation season.

City have a buy-back option with Lavia but they are unlikely to trigger it as they have already signed Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea.

Lavia could instead end up at Liverpool, with GOAL’s Neil Jones telling Caught Offside that the club’s transfer preference has “changed now”.

“My understanding is that Khephren Thuram had been a priority, but that’s changed now, with the Szoboszlai signing having a big impact – while they’re different players, my understanding is that Thuram would’ve been brought in to play a similar kind of position to the Hungarian, so that’s why Romeo Lavia is now the priority,” Jones said.

“Unlike those two, the Southampton youngster is more of a genuine number 6 than a number 8, so it seems clear that Liverpool have gone for Szoboszlai over Thuram, even if the latter was someone they looked at for a long period and held talks with his representatives.

“There wasn’t ever any agreement with Nice, so it may be that the overall package with Szoboszlai, whether that’s things like wages or even just the fact that he offers something in a few different positions, made the difference in the end.”

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Jones also explained why a move for Lavia is going to be “tricky for Liverpool”.

“In terms of Lavia, I can confirm that there is definitely strong interest there, as has been well documented,” Jones added.

“It’s been a few months now that he’s been on Liverpool’s list, but a big question will be with the fee Southampton ask for – some reports are suggesting it could be around £50m, and I think Liverpool will feel that’s a bit high for a player who’s 19 years of age and played only 36 games in his professional club career.

“Obviously there are other clubs interested as well, and Arsenal, as I understand it, plan to go quite strongly for Lavia once they get Declan Rice over the line this week.

“It’s a tricky deal for Liverpool, but there’s no doubt they want him, so it’ll just come down to whether or not the right financial deal can be agreed with Southampton, and what other clubs want to do.”

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