With Liverpool having had two bids swiftly rejected by Southampton for Romeo Lavia, Saints manager Russell Martin has admitted the deal is ‘dragging on’.”
It has been nearly 10 days since Liverpool’s £37 million bid for Lavia was turned down by Southampton and, despite an offer worth £4m more being submitted, the clubs are still at an impasse over the player’s future.
This Is Anfield understands that personal terms have been agreed with the 19-year-old but the Reds still aren’t close to Southampton‘s £50m asking price.
Asked about the situation at his pre-match press conference for Friday’s Championship opener at Sheffield Wednesday, Martin told the press what he knew.
He explained: “Both [Lavia and James Ward-Prowse] will be involved tomorrow night as it stands, I don’t know if anything will change between now and then.
“Do I think they will be Southampton players by the end of the window?
“I have not got a clue. What I hope and what I think are probably very different.”
That sounds positive for Liverpool, but his additional comments suggest Southampton would be unwilling to part ways easily with Lavia.
“However, it would be pointless to come out and say I think they’ll be here or I don’t because ultimately I have no control over that really,” Martin continued.
“If they’re both not here at some point or one of them isn’t, it will be because the club and the player have both had something that is beneficial for everyone.
“I think that is why it has dragged on so long so far and I think it might continue to drag on.
“Both of them, while they have been here, have been great at very different stages of their career.”
Martin seems consigned to losing at least one of Ward-Prowse or Lavia then, but Liverpool still need to up their bid soon or they potentially put the start of their season at risk.