Premier League • England

‘On total standby’ – Liverpool signing hits brick wall, as Klopp turns to midfield destroyer who’ll cost ‘way less’

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram

Why a third Liverpool signing in midfield has gone “cold” and is “on total standby” has been revealed, with Fabrizio Romano instead tipping a move for a player who’ll cost “way less.”

The Reds made overhauling their understrength midfield priority number one in the transfer market this summer. Two attack-minded arrivals in the form of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have been banked. Attention is now turning to a more defensive addition who’ll either displace – or at the very compete – with Fabinho.

On that front, two names are coming to the fore – Romeo Lavia and Khephren Thuram.

The latter plies his trade at club level for Nice and was named in Ligue 1’s team of the season last year. Thuram also made his senior France debut earlier in 2023.

But while Liverpool have held exploratory talks over plucking Thuram from Nice, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claims the deal is not advancing.

Explaining why, Romano noted Liverpool are unhappy with both Nice and Thuram’s reactions to negotiations. Drilling down on exactly what that means, it was suggested both the club and player are asking for terms Liverpool deem inflated.

“I think for sure they have some names on the list,” said Romano while appearing on the Born and Red YouTube channel.

“For example, a player like Khephren Thuram has always been on the list at Liverpool but now the situation is more kind of cold because Liverpool are not happy with the reaction from the player’s side and the club’s side.

“So, they do believe that that deal is very expensive on both sides and this is why they decided to go for Szoboszlai and Mac Allister as priorities.

“Khephren Thuram has always been a player appreciated by Liverpool and remains a player appreciated by Liverpool.

“So, in case these terms can be changed in the next weeks, it could be different for Khephren Thuram.

“Obviously the player wants the Liverpool move, but you know better than me, that in football there are salaries and these kinds of costs.”

With a Thuram swoop hitting hurdles on both the transfer fee and personal terms fronts, a deal for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia is now taking centre stage.

Romeo Lavia to complete midfield rebuild?

The 19-year-old only has one full season of first-team football under his belt. However, it was certainly an impressive one, with Lavia catching the eye through his tough tackling, defensive awareness and high number of interceptions with the Saints last year.

Sky Sports claimed Southampton will hold firm over their £50m valuation. Other outlets have reported Liverpool are reluctant to bid more than £40m.

In any case, Romano claimed a deal for the Belgian will net the Reds a saving on the personal terms front when compared with Thuram.

The journalist also suggested a deal with Southampton may be structured more favourably towards Liverpool when referencing “future costs”, such as add-ons and potentially a sell-on clause.

“So, Liverpool want to do something smart,” continued Romano. “For example, Lavia will cost way less than Khephren Thuram also in terms of salaries and future costs for the club.

“This is why it’s really crucial to understand the package. At the moment the deal [for Thuram] is on total standby, they’re not advancing.”

The Athletic’s Southampton expert, Jacob Tanswell previously claimed Liverpool are favourites to sign Lavia. Chelsea and Arsenal are also in the mix, but Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg was another to tip the Reds for success.

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