Premier League • England

Arsenal rocked as Liverpool hijack of midfield transfer that’ll complete Klopp revolution gathers pace

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with a broad grin

An expected transfer battle between Liverpool and Arsenal for a highly-rated midfielder might not involve the Gunners after all, according to a source.

Both the Gunners and Reds have wasted no time getting their ducks in a row this summer. Arsenal have already completed a £65m move for Kai Havertz, while West Ham have accepted a £105m offer for Declan Rice and news from the Netherlands suggests Jurrien Timber will be next.

Liverpool, meanwhile, raced out of the traps when wrapping up a quickfire deal with Brighton for Alexis Mac Allister.

Midfield additions will dominate the headlines at Anfield this summer, with arrival number two imminent.

The £60m release clause in Dominik Szoboszlai’s contract with RB Leipzig has been triggered. Personal terms are agreed and the Hungary ace, 22, has travelled to Merseyside to undergo a medical.

However, both Liverpool and Arsenal want one more midfield signing and a player they’d seemingly converged on was Romeo Lavia.

The Southampton ace is still a teenager, though the 19-year-old certainly played with maturity well beyond his years last season.

The Belgium international was one of very few bright sparks during an ill-fated campaign for the Saints. But for Lavia, their relegation would’ve been confirmed a whole lot sooner.

The Athletic’s James Pearce confirmed Lavia is on Liverpool’s radar, while Belgian reporter Sacha Tavolieri described a potential Reds move for the Saint “concrete and huge”.

Arsenal, meanwhile, reportedly struck a verbal agreement with Lavia last week, according to Football Insider. Football Transfers then claimed the Gunners are ready to step up their pursuit once Rice is banked.

Chelsea – not Arsenal – battling Liverpool for Lavia

However, according to The Athletic’s Southampton correspondent, Jacob Tanswell, it’s Liverpool who are fast emerging as Lavia’s likeliest next club.

In fact, according to Tanswell, it’s Chelsea and not Arsenal who will be battling Liverpool for Lavia’s signature.

Speaking to Empire of the Kop, Tanswell said: “Southampton want a high figure for him. Someone has got to pay around £45m-£50m for Lavia. Who can do that is dependent on all the other targets they get.”

On who specifically could and most likely will win the race, Tanswell added: “Liverpool or Chelsea. I probably think Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp and with the background [work] they’ve done on him, that probably looks the likely destination.”

In the event Liverpool were the ones to sign Lavia, Klopp would have completely revamped his midfield in one single window.

Lavia would be viewed as the long-term successor to Fabinho, while Mac Allister and Szoboszlai will operate either side in the box-to-box roles.

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