Premier League • England

Liverpool join five-way race to sign midfielder Man City have £40m buy-back clause inserted on

Jack Harrison and Romeo Lavia

Liverpool have reportedly joined what is now a five-way race to sign highly-rated Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia this summer.

The Belgium international only joined the Saints from Manchester City last summer, penning a five-year deal at the time and costing in the region of £14million.

The reigning Premier League champions inserted a £40million buy-back clause into the deal and will be entitled to 20% of any future sale, meaning they could actually do a deal for £32million.

However, Pep Guardiola’s men cannot access that clause until 2024, which leaves the door open for other clubs to swoop.

Football Insider revealed last month that Chelsea are already working on snapping up the youngster, with City, Arsenal and Manchester United also interested.

But now FI reports that the Reds have joined that race, as Jurgen Klopp looks to completely revamp his midfield in the summer.

Saints will almost certainly be forced into a sale if they are relegated from the Premier League.

Ruben Selles’ side are effectively four points from safety after losing 1-0 in a crucial clash with West Ham on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are on the hunt for midfielders, given that both Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to depart this summer.

Bellingham dream drifting away

Their dream deal remains bringing Jude Bellingham to Anfield. However, that could cost as much as £130m and leaves the Reds looking at cheaper alternatives instead.

But who Klopp can entice to join Liverpool also depends on whether the club are in the Champions League next season.

The Merseysiders are currently eight points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with 11 games still to play.

However, they are not showing the sort of form that suggests top four is a realistic target.

Saturday’s mauling at Manchester City was yet another sign that Klopp’s squad needs some major surgery in the summer.

Liverpool face fellow strugglers Chelsea next in a must-win clash on Tuesday evening.

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