Liverpool transfer tactics shock sources as Reds make snub easy after ‘second choice’ claim

Joe Williams
Liverpool transfer target Romeo Lavia
Romeo Lavia takes part in a pre-match warm-up ahead of Championship fixture.

Liverpool transfer target Romeo Lavia was made to feel like the Reds’ ‘second choice’ after they made a bid for Moises Caicedo, according to reports.

The Merseysiders had been bidding for Lavia’s services for a few weeks with multiple bids turned down by Southampton as the Saints asked for £50m.

And, after not agreeing a fee, Liverpool appeared to put their interest in Lavia on ice as they agreed a British transfer record fee with Brighton for Caicedo.

However, the Ecuador international chose Chelsea instead and Liverpool went back to Southampton with their tail between their legs to agree a £60m deal for Lavia.

But Liverpool have been stung again with Lavia now also choosing to join Chelsea with The Guardian reporter Jacob Steinberg claiming that the Belgium international was made to feel like ‘second choice’ by the Anfield outfit.

Steinberg wrote: ‘Multiple sources close to the Lavia transfer have expressed bemusement over the Anfield club’s tactics.

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Seven Liverpool midfield options include Man Utd target and Man City flop

‘It is understood that the 19-year-old was left feeling that he was Liverpool’s second choice after they bid for Caicedo, opening the door for Chelsea to make their move and convince Lavia to join their talented young squad.’

Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox has described it as “a real tricky period” for Lavia after accepting a bid from Liverpool.

Wilcox said on BBC Radio Solent: “I think you know, it’s well known that we’ve had some significant interest in Romeo, we’ve had an offer which we accepted from Liverpool.

“Then Chelsea came to the table. So we’re currently in negotiation with Chelsea now so it’s a real tricky period for Romeo. But I’m confident that something will get done in the next week or so or in the next few days.

“And I think, you know, when we look at what Romeo’s achieved here, I think every one of us here wouldn’t want to lose him but the reality is, we’re in the Championship and we need to reinvest and by buying Shea Charles, we’ve got another one who hopefully we can do the same with. So good luck to Romeo. Let’s say it’s not done yet. But we envisage in the next few days it will be completed.”

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has been outspoken on the collapse of the Lavia transfer with the former defender calling it “an absolute mess”.

“They just put a bid in for £60m when they refused to pay £50m a few days ago,” Carragher said on Sky Sports. “It’s an absolute mess, it’s a joke.

“To not have things in order, this isn’t on the owners either. It’s the structure of the club, what are Liverpool doing? They’re not spending the same money as the other teams, and in the space of 18 months, Liverpool have had four directors of football.

“They haven’t got deals done – that’s your job in that role. The two players they bought had buyout clauses, there’s no negotiations in those! They can’t get deals over the line, they don’t pay the certain amounts. It’s an absolute mess, it’s a joke.”