With Liverpool having already turned down a trio of loan offers for striker Rickie Lambert, preferring to keep him around as depth than to let Crystal Palace, Hull City, or Aston Villa pay his wages for the rest of the season, the Telegraph has reported that at least one of those interested clubs has escalated their interest.
The London broadsheet is reporting a late, £5M bid for the striker by Villa, with manager Paul Lambert having set his sights on the 32-year-old ex-Southampton player as key to their Premier League survival. If true, it could be hard for Liverpool to pass up the chance to turn a profit on the player they signed over the summer for £3.5M from the Saints.
Lambert has made 24 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions since rejoining his boyhood club six months ago, scoring three goals for a side that has struggled to find the back of the net with Daniel Sturridge out injured. With Sturridge returning, though, Lambert is unlikely to see nearly as much action in the second half of the season and could be surplus to requirements.
Aston Villa have struggled even more than Liverpool to score goals this season, managing just 11 over 23 games in a difficult campaign that currently sees them just three points clear of relegation.