Liverpool have been handed a monumental blow in their pursuit of Moises Caicedo alternative Romeo Lavia, with the Southampton star choosing to join Chelsea and already looking for a place to live in London.
After having bids worth £37million, £41m and £45m for Lavia rejected, Liverpool turned their attention to Brighton’s Caicedo. Incredibly, the Reds came forward with a huge offer worth £110m, which would have broken the British transfer record.
Liverpool were hopeful of finally completing their midfield revamp with Caicedo’s arrival. However, the Ecuador international told Liverpool chiefs he only wanted to sign for Chelsea and therefore rejected the chance to discuss personal terms.
Chelsea have gone on to sign Caicedo, breaking the British transfer record themselves with a huge £115m deal.
After finding out Caicedo would not be heading to Anfield, Liverpool went back in for Lavia and struck a £60m agreement with Southampton. That is despite the Saints’ price tag sitting at £50m.
However, according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri, who has regularly broken news on Lavia’s situation, the 19-year-old has also rejected Liverpool and is on the verge of signing for Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have struck an agreement of their own with Southampton, which is worth £50m plus add-ons. And Lavia has agreed personal terms on a seven-year contract in West London, which will also include the option of a further 12 months.
Tavolieri states that there are two main reasons for Lavia choosing Chelsea over Liverpool. First of all, Chelsea’s wage offer is far better. Secondly, he is attracted by Pochettino’s highly ambitious project.
Romeo Lavia house-hunting in London before Chelsea switch
In a bitter blow for Liverpool, there is little chance of them completing a late hijack of their own as the Belgian is already looking for an apartment in London.
Klopp will be gutted about losing out on both Caicedo and Lavia. After moving on from previous targets such as Khephren Thuram and Manu Kone, those players had emerged as prime targets for Liverpool.
Reds officials will now need to work tirelessly to find a different defensive midfielder that can be signed to replace Fabinho. Alexis Mac Allister played in the No.6 role against Chelsea, but that is not where he is most effective.