Premier League • England

Klopp aghast as Liverpool see improved offer for top target fail; Reds could turn focus to Brazilian instead

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has seen a second and improved offer for Romeo Lavia fail – and the Reds boss has been made fully aware just how much they will need to pay to convince Southampton to do business.

The Merseysiders are desperate to add the talented Belgian teenager to their mix after a brilliant season on the south coast. And while his sublime performances could not prevent Southampton slipping to relegation, his form has been more than enough to see a number of the big boys come calling.

Indeed, the former Manchester City youngster has drawn admiring glances from Arsenal and Chelsea this summer.

However, it is Liverpool who have emerged from the pack with Klopp looking to bring in Lavia as a would-be successor to Fabinho. The Brazilian sealed his move away from Anfield on Monday, signing a bumper contract with Saudi Pro-League side Al-Ittihad.

And while Liverpool have already reportedly agreed terms with Lavia on a six-year deal at Anfield, convincing Saints to sell has proved very difficult so far.

To that end, the EFL side are determined that the teenage star won’t leave for a penny below their asking price. And with still another 30 days left of the transfer window, they know they still have time on their side.

As a result, Liverpool have on Tuesday seen an improved bid, worth £43m, rejected by Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox for the star. Some £5m more than their initial offer, Liverpool had hoped the increased bid would be enough to do the trick.

However, 90min report that Liverpool have once again been sent packing, leaving Klopp and Co to consider their next move.

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Liverpool ready third offer to finally seal Romeo Lavia transfer

However, Liverpool’s need to land Lavia is pretty clear for all to see. The Reds may have added Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister to their ranks this summer. But the exists of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Arthur Melo, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain means they are now four players ligher in midfield.

As such, at least two more names will be targeted.

To that end, Klopp remains desperate to bring Lavia to Anfield.

And, having discussed the possible deal with Southampton, Liverpool have been told in no uncertain terms that it will take a £50m package to sign the player.

That is already some distance north of the top end £40m the Reds were willing to pay.

However, Klopp remains determined to bring Lavia to Anfield. As a result, 90min claims Liverpool ‘are expected to return with an improved bid in the near future’.

As an alternative, Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri claims Liverpool are considering a move for Fluminense’s Andre as an alternative.

The 22-year-old, who has won one cap for his country, is rated as one of Brazil’s top young midfielders.

And with an apparent £20m asking price, he certainly comes in far cheaper than Lavia.

Lavia proving costly

Having made 34 appearances last season, scoring once and adding one assist, Lavia does seem a little on the costly side.

But Saints know Liverpool’s need is desperate so are very much in the driving seat over negotiations.

An aghast Klopp will now have to swallow his pride and accept that any deal for Lavia is going to cost far more than he had hoped.

Having gotten their way over both Szoboszlai and Mac Allister, Liverpool are not necessarily used to being on the wrong side of negotiations. However, if they want to bring Lavia to Merseyside, they know now that Southampton are absolutely refusing to compromise on their price.

As a result, it’s seemingly time for the Reds to pay up.

Whether they could officially bid for Andre as an alternative remains to be seen. But Sky Sports are now reporting that contact has been made and an offer could soon be forthcoming.

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