Liverpool appear set to stage a last ditch attempt to sign Southampton and England star Adam Lallana, and will offer his club a take it or leave it proposal after weeks of negotiations.
The well publicised transfer wrangle has dominated headlines since it became apparent that Brendan Rodgers was interested in the winger’s services, but it’s now thought that the speculation will be brought to an abrupt end when Liverpool offer the Saints £26million. The Metro claims that this sum will force Lallana’s club to make a definitive decision either way, having already rejected offers of both £20million and £23million.
Of course Rodgers’ interest isn’t just limited to the England man, and he could well step up his pursuit of Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri if he is denied again. Reports yesterday stated that the Reds have opened talks ahead of a potential move for the Switzerland international which would cost around £16million. The diminutive playmaker has routinely struggled for game time under Pep Guardiola, and could be open to a Premier League switch as he seeks first-team football.
It makes sense to assume that Shaqiri would want to remain with Bayern given their recent dominance in Europe, but he's far from indispensable in Guardiola's squad, and if the Spaniard wants to flog players to raise money for improvements he could well find his head on the chopping block.
Meanwhile Liverpool have a backup option in Benfica’s Lazar Markovic, and it’s said they are keeping tabs on him in case both the Lallana and Shaqiri deals go awry. The 20-year-old midfielder would cost considerably more than Shaqiri, but he has been largely impressive in the Portuguese Primera Liga since his switch from Partizan in 2013.
He would most certainly represent a more risky choice, but Liverpool have shown in recent seasons that they are willing to take gambles on transfers if the right man becomes available. The purchase of Philipe Coutinho from Inter Milan proved to be a masterstroke, and even their big money move for Luis Suarez could have back-fired had the Uruguayan failed to adapt to the rigours of Premier League football.
Nevertheless logic would dictate that Rodgers will be searching for experience as he looks to build a team capable of competing for European honours as well as domestic success. With participation in next season's Champions League assured the Northern Irishman has to focus his efforts on increasing the overall squad depth, whilst also ensuring that the all-round quality doesn't diminish as a result.