After having had their third and supposedly final bid for the defensive midfielder rejected, it appears that Liverpool’s move to sign 19-year-old Belgian Roméo Lavia from Southampton may not be entirely dead just yet.
That’s the word today as after bring included in their matchday squad but not playing on Friday when Saints took on Sheffield Wednesday, Lavia is said to have been absent from training over the past 24 hours and is set not to be included in the squad that faces Gillingham in the EFL Cup.
According to Belgian football expert Sacha Tavolieri, the player’s side are the ones now pushing to close the deal a day after Southampton rejected Liverpool’s £46M bid for the player and there were whispers Saints’ fee demands had now risen above £50M.
As the transfer saga continues to drag out, it seems impossible to think that even if he were somehow signed this week that Lavia would be ready to take on Chelsea on the weekend in Liverpool’s Premier League opener.
It’s also notable that the 19-year-old has just about 2,000 minutes of Premier League experience and that he was originally targeted as an understudy for Fabinho, with question marks as to whether the player is ready to start every week for a side with a top four finish as the minimum target.
With the club having lost Fabinho as well as Jordan Henderson, another veteran with experience covering the position, many will be skeptical of Liverpool’s summer recruitment for the midfield if it ends with Lavia even if the club can get him over the line.