Sport Soccer

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Reds face Lallana battle

Liverpool have been warned to expect a fight to sign Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana
Liverpool have been warned to expect a fight to sign Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana

Liverpool have been warned they face a fight to sign Adam Lallana from Southampton this summer.

Brendan Rodgers' interest in the England international, currently at the World Cup in Brazil, is long-standing and the Reds have tabled a couple of bids - the last a take-it-or-leave-it offer of £25million.

There was some hope there may be movement once Southampton appointed a successor to Mauricio Pochettino but the arrival of Ronald Koeman this week does not appear to have altered Saints' stance.

Executive director Les Reed reiterated the club's position after they allowed striker Rickie Lambert - who coincidentally will face his former club at Anfield on the opening day of next season - to join Liverpool in a £4million deal earlier this month.

"Lallana's been here long enough, we've brought him to this level and we feel that perhaps he should give it a little bit longer," he told BBC South Today.

"Anybody seriously considering coming for our players is going to have to think very significantly about the size of the fee.

"If we do take money it will be because it's the right amount and it enables us to improve the team and move forward."

Southampton are holding out for more money for Lallana as they owe former club Bournemouth a 25 per cent sell on fee.

Reports in Germany claim Liverpool have opened talks with Bayern Munich over a deal for Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who is being considered as an alternative should they not be able to seal the Lallana deal.

Rodgers is also looking to offload a few players this summer but a deal to take winger Oussama Assaidi to Stoke on a permanent basis has reached an impasse on two fronts.

The Moroccan enjoyed a promising loan spell at the Britannia Stadium last season and Mark Hughes is keen to secure the 25-year-old permanently.

However, Liverpool's valuation - they reportedly want £2million more than the £3million Stoke believe he is worth - and the fact the player is currently sidelined with a knee injury is holding up negotiations.

"We can't do anything until we know where he is regarding his recovery," Potters chairman Peter Coates told The Sentinel.

"We do have a serious interest but we have other irons in the fire to make sure we have got the right balance in that area."

Press Association

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