Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to offer Fabio Borini as a sweetener to persuade Southampton to part with Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, the Liverpool manager is confident Lallana and Lovren will be Reds players by the opening day of the Premier League season - when they face Southampton at Anfield.
But with talks dragging on, he's believed to have sanctioned the decision to include Borini as part of the package for the talented duo.
Liverpool have set aside £20m to bring Lallana to Anfield, but Southampton are holding out for closer to £30m. Saints director of football Les Reed recently confirmed that the club would not be pressured into selling their star man, and warned potential suitors that only serious offers would be considered.
The England international is currently preparing to face Uruguay in a make-or-break game in Group D at the World Cup, but he is believed to be keen to talk to Liverpool with the prospect of Champions League football proving an attractive prospect.
Croatian international Lovren
Lovren is also at the World Cup, which has added an extra complication to talks over a transfer. He reportedly handed in a transfer request just prior to the tournament, with Liverpool ready to offer £16m.
The classy centre-back would be brought in with an eye on the Champions League, and would represent an upgrade on Rodgers' current options at the position.
Defence let Liverpool down on several occasions last season, with Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho each failing to perform at their peak level on a consistent basis.
A deal for all three means Liverpool could potentially spend more than £50m on Southampton players, following their £4m capture of ex-Saints forward Rickie Lambert earlier this summer.
Rodgers is clearly keen on the south coast club, whose style of football is not too dissimilar to the one favoured by Rodgers at Anfield.
Much will depend on the willingness of Southampton to sell. So far they've played hard ball over Lallana and Lovren, in contrast to the situation involving Lambert, who clearly wanted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join his boy-hood club at the age of 32.
Now they've got their manager sorted, they have hired Dutchman Ronald Koeman to replace Mauricio Pochettino, things should start clicking into place.
But it may be too late, with some reports claiming Liverpool are eyeing Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri as an alternative to Lallana.
As a result, this Borini offer could be the final throw of the dice from Rodgers to get a deal done closer to the £20m mark.
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