Premier League • England

Klopp ecstatic as Man City help Liverpool move for third midfielder; transfer cheaper than first thought

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Man City have inadvertently aided a Liverpool move that will complete their midfield overhaul, per reports.

On the back of a disappointing fifth-placed finish, Liverpool’s remit this summer was crystal clear. Revamping a sub-par midfield was priority one, two and three. To that end, Alexis Mac Allister (£35m) and Dominik Szoboszlai (£60m) have been signed.

A more defensive-minded option to either displace, or at the very least compete with Fabinho is next on the agenda.

A move for Nice’s Khephren Thuram is understood to have stalled. Explaining why, Fabrizio Romano pointed to both Nice and Thuram making financial demands Liverpool deemed excessive.

Instead, it’s Southampton’s Romeo Lavia who is now front and centre in Jurgen Klopp’s sights.

The Belgium international is only 19, though played with maturity well beyond his years last season.

Lavia is known for his tough tackling, defensive awareness and ability to make interceptions. In other words, he’s an attacker’s worst nightmare.

Southampton’s relegation to the Championship was always likely to prompt exits for many of their best players. Lavia certainly fits that billing and per Sky Sports, Southampton intended to hold firm on their £50m valuation.

However, according to the Daily Mail, a deal can now be struck for a discounted £45m. What’s more, Man City have given Liverpool’s proposed move a helping hand after agreeing to sell a readymade replacement to Southampton.

Indeed, the Saints have struck an agreement that could rise to £15m for 19-year-old Shea Charles. The move shares many similarities with the deal that saw Lavia join Southampton – also from Man City – last summer.

The Mail’s update revealed Charles underwent a medical with the Saints on Monday. City have inserted both buy-back and sell-on clauses into the agreement.

But with Southampton poised to unveil their Lavia replacement, they’ll now be more willing to conclude a sale for the Belgian.

The Mail note Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea could all pose a threat to Liverpool. However, Chelsea are pre-occupied with Moises Caicedo, Man Utd lack financial might and must sign a striker after Andre Onana, and Arsenal will only need a second new midfielder (after Declan Rice), if Thomas Partey departs.

As such, the door is ajar for Liverpool to complete their midfield rebuild and at £45m, Lavia will cost less than first thought.

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