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Southampton Push Back, Accuse Liverpool of Proposing "Ludicrous" Add-Ons

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In an increasingly heated transfer tug of war over Adam Lallana, all sides have taken to briefing friendly journalists on the details as they see them. Now it's Southampton's turn.

Bryn Lennon

With Liverpool briefing friendly journalists on their purported final £25M offer for Adam Lallana and the player himself transmitting his disappointment at being left in the dark by the club's upper management before letting it be known he had requested they allow him to move to Liverpool, it can feel as though each new detail of the ongoing Adam Lallana transfer saga has been given public airing. Not wanting to be left out of the action, Southampton are now pushing back.

From Liverpool's point of view, raising their initial offer of £20M, with at least £2-3M of that being made up of add-ons, to £25M seemed a fair attempt to secure the services of a player who had his heart set on Anfield and as a result few other likely destinations. To some Liverpool fans it seemed an overly generous fee, though most were willing to accept that as Lallana was manager Brendan Rodgers' top target, the club might be justified in going a little over their initial valuation.

It turns out, though—at least if one is to believe the information being put out through back channels tonight by Southampton—that Liverpool's improved offer may not have been quite as clearly improved as it appeared. That's because instead of raising their initial bid by £5M, Southampton are claiming through friendly journalists that Liverpool instead tacked on a further £5M in various add-ons to their original bid. Add-ons that, from their point of view, are "ludicrous."

Ludicrous in the sense that Southampton believe they would be unlikely to ever see the bulk of the extra £5M in add-ons proposed by Liverpool, suggesting it's more than just the usual vanilla, achievable goals scored or appearances made escalators built into many transfer dealings as a matter of course. An extra £1M for winning the Champions League, perhaps, or for scoring 20 goals in a season. Not impossible perhaps, but unlikely to be triggered—at least from Southampton's viewpoint.

Just how much truth there is to these latest leaked tidbits is anybody's guess. On current evidence, though, it's a safe bet we'll soon hear the next chapter in Liverpool or Adam Lallana's side of the story now that we've heard Southampton's.