Liverpool are preparing for their season opener against Chelsea in less than two weeks without a senior midfielder with experience in the holding role following the departure of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as they struggle to complete the signing of Roméo Lavia.
For Lavia’s current club Southampton, though, the season starts on Friday, and what the future holds for that team on the Lavia front is just as uncertain, with manager Russell Martin admitting he doesn’t know what’s likely to happen in the coming days and weeks.
“Do I think [Lavia] will be Southampton players by the end of the window?” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday’s Championship opener against Sheffield Wednesday. “I have not got a clue. What I hope and what I think are probably very different.
“It would be pointless to come out and say I think [Lavia and James Ward-Prowse] will be here because ultimately I have no control over that. If they’re both not here or one of them isn’t it will be because the club and player have something that is beneficial for everyone.”
Whatever the future may hold, for the moment Lavia remains a Southampton player and barring a breakthrough in transfer negotiations over the next 24 hours—and on that front an offer with £40M guaranteed is said to be in the works—he is expected to play on Friday.
“I think that’s why it has dragged on so long so far and I think it might continue to drag on,” Martin added, “but both of them while they have been here have been great, at very different stages of their career.”