Liverpool have made Adam Lallana their number one target this summer, raising an early £20M bid to £25M in an effort to capture the player ahead of this summer's World Cup. Lallana's feelings are mutual, and having spent his career helping to drag Southampton up from the lower leagues he believes that at the age of 26 this summer represents his best chance of moving to a club that will see him further his personal development, play in the Champions League, and push for domestic silverware.
Despite early interest from Manchester United and a widespread belief that Tottenham would be in for him following the hiring of ex-Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, the player has made clear that only Liverpool is a suitable destination. His goal isn't to move away from Southampton but to move for Champions League action, and he believes that of the current top four Liverpool are both the side that could best use his talents and that would give him the best chance to further his career.
According to local BBC Radio Solent sports editor Adam Blackmore, this has led to an increasingly strained situation between Lallana and his current club's ownership. Southampton feel that if they are to lose their best player they need to maximise their return, but Lallana is at present only interested in one destination—and that destination has put what it believes to be a more than fair offer on the table and are threatening to walk away if a deal can't be concluded shortly.
Making matters worse, soon after Liverpool made their latest £25M offer for the player, Lallana attempted to contact multiple Southampton board members to discuss his future and found his calls unanswered and not returned. He has taken this as a further slight after his years of service to the club, believing he has shown loyalty to them in the past, and that for his role in getting them to where they are and at this stage of his career, his desire for a move deserves added consideration.
"We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers," read an official statement from Southampton this morning. "We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place. There may be circumstances under which the club will feel it is right for a player to move on. Those circumstances have to be right for the club and the player."
Clearly, Southampton do not feel the circumstances are right to move Lallana on. Given their relationship with the player may have been irreparably damaged over the past weeks and that they could be faced with accepting an offer far less than Liverpool's £25M should Brendan Rodgers decide to move on, though, what will happens next remains far from clear and there is a belief Lallana may be prepared to hand in a written transfer request should the situation remain unchanged.