Liverpool have reportedly had a £37 million bid for Romeo Lavia rejected by Southampton.
The Reds want the one-cap Belgium international to add depth to their weakened midfield line. They have lost James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on free transfers while Jordan Henderson is expected to join Al-Ettifaq.
According to the Athletic, Southampton are looking for an offer in the region of £50 million for Lavia. He was signed last summer from Manchester City for £12 million. Since then, he has enhanced his reputation despite Southampton's relegation last season. Lavia made 34 appearances across competitions, registering a goal and an assist.
The report states that agreeing personal terms with the Reds won't be a problem for the player, who has four years left in his contract. Lavia, 19, largely plays as a defensive midfielder and specializes in shielding the centre-backs.
It remains to be seen if Liverpool up their offer for the player. They have already signed Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister to bolster their midfield this summer.
Mac Allister, 2022 FIFA World Cup winner with Argentina, cost Liverpool £35 million in initial fees. The Reds then activated Hungary international Szoboszlai's £60 million release clause.
What Manchester City boss said about Liverpool target Romeo Lavia
Romeo Lavia has garnered praise from Pep Guardiola, one of the best managers in world football.
The Spanish tactician oversaw Lavia's move to Southampton last summer, bringing an end to the player's two-year spell at the Etihad. Lavia had joined Manchester City's academy in 2020 but made just two senior appearances across competitions.
In an interview in April, Guardiola said that he was impressed by the progress his former player was making at St. Mary's. He said (via the Cityzens' website):
"I am really impressed with what Romeo has done and is doing. We had, and we have, an incredible opinion about him. We thought to keep him, but maybe he would not (get) enough minutes, like he has in Southampton."
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Lavia's contract includes a £40 million buy-back option for Manchester City. It will activate in 2024, though, which means Liverpool wouldn't have to worry about that clause if they're looking to sign the player this summer.