Liverpool ‘no longer targeting’ midfielder as Klopp has ‘no gap to fill’ in Arsenal, Chelsea boost

Joe Williams
Liverpool transfer target Romeo Lavia
Romeo Lavia has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.

Liverpool won’t pursue a deal for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia unless another midfielder leaves the club, according to reports.

Just yesterday Ben Jacobs claimed that the Reds are “very much in the race” for Lavia, who is also a target for Arsenal and Chelsea, with the Saints looking for £50m to seal a deal this summer for the 19-year-old.

Liverpool have already signed Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton in a deal worth around £35m, while Dominik Szoboszlai joined from RB Leipzig over the weekend for £60m.

Despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita leaving the club on free transfers in the summer, it seems Liverpool are now done for midfield incomings, at least for the time being.

But will it leave their midfield rebuild only two-thirds done? Fabinho struggled for form last season with the miles on the clock under Jurgen Klopp giving the appearance of a player far older than 29.

In a joint piece between James Pearce and Raphael Honigstein for The Athletic, it is revealed that Klopp’s pursuit of another midfielder is on the back burner unless one of his current players leaves.

The Athletic column reads:

‘Nice’s Khephren Thuram is no longer viewed as a target with Liverpool having ultimately decided that Szoboszlai was the better option given his greater versatility, experience and skill set.

‘Liverpool could yet move for a young centre-back if the right option becomes available, but they won’t pursue a third midfielder unless one of the current crop leaves.

‘If you include Trent Alexander-Arnold, who finished last season in a hybrid role, Klopp currently has nine senior midfield options with Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott.

‘It remains to be seen if that situation changes. Thiago has attracted serious interest from Saudi Arabia and has already turned down one lucrative offer. However, he currently intends to stay put for the final year of his contract.

‘Henderson has also been linked with a move to Saudi following the appointment of Gerrard at Al Ettifaq, but there’s been no approach so far and Liverpool do not expect to lose their long-serving skipper.

‘Since wrapping up the signing of Szoboszlai, there has been growing speculation had Liverpool turned their attention to Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. He is admired but as things stand they are not pursuing the Belgian defensive midfielder. They do not believe they have a gap to fill currently and they also feel that an asking price of £50million is far too high for a teenager who has only made 17 more senior appearances in his career than Bajcetic.’

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