Southampton, it seems, are not prepared to take the first offer on Adam Lallana, or indeed countenance any transfer unless the player makes clear his desire to leave the east coast by putting in a written transfer request, or indeed unless a suitable bid is made.
Throughout the speculation regarding a potential move to Liverpool, Lallan has maintained a studied silence. He may however need to break that silence if he is to force though the transfer. It appears clear that Lallana is on Brendan Rodgers wanted list but that fact, and the reality of the transfer being completed, may well be some way apart yet. England boss Roy Hodgson is keen to ensure that no transfer issues are conducted whilst the squad is under his charge. Understandably, he is keen to eliminate all possible distractions to allow the players to concentrate solely on the job at hand.
As is often the way with these things, there may be movement behind the scenes, but all cards are being held very close to chests in the public eye. The Guardian is reporting Rodgers’ responses to questions about transfer targets in general and any possible move for Lallana. Cannily, Rodgers replied by saying “I don’t want to put a figure on how many but I would rather have one or two absolute top players than seven that might not help us,” said the Liverpool manager. “It’s about the quality. We can’t be going into the Champions League this year with doubts about players. We have to be going in knowing what the players’ capacity to play is and their capabilities.”
“For me, it’s about planning. We have the core of the squad now, that helps. Two years ago, when I came in, I was looking to introduce new ideas but a lot of the players weren’t there because of the European Championship. That affected the start of the season. At least this summer we have the principals bedded in place and the players that will come in will be the profile of what we want. It should be better for us this summer.”
It’s understood that the Liverpool bid is around the £20million mark, but that falls well short of the apparent £25million tag that the Saints have tied around Lallana. Southampton will therefore be keen to promote the interests of other clubs who may well be interested in securing the player’s services, with Manchester United also thought to be keeping tabs on the situation, although the van Gaal situation may compromise any approach from them. The more interest, the easier it will be for the Saints to push up the price, of course.
Liverpool remain favourites to sign Lallana, but Rodgers will be keen to get the deal signed and sealed prior to the World Cup, as any delay caused by the tournament can only muddy the waters. For Lallana’s part – a boyhood Evertonian – it seems that although he has considered other options, Anfield remains his favoured destination.
With Rodgers wanting to sign him, and the player keen to join the club, a push from both parties may be all that is required to seal both of their aspirations. Over to you boys!
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