Planned £40m move for Saints pair will be central to summer recruitment drive, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Ryan Bertrand also on the hit-list
Liverpool are preparing a sensational £40million DOUBLE swoop for Southampton stars Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.
The Anfield giants’ manager Brendan Rodgers wants to make the Saints an offer they can’t refuse for the duo… and a massive statement of intent for next season, when the five-times winners return to the Champions League/European Cup.
And – as we reported back in March – Reds manager Rodgers is determined to make it a St Mary’s double, by offering the same amount for centre-back Lovren, who was one of the Premier League hits of the season in his debut campaign.
Croatia international Lovren only arrived last summer from Lyon for a fee of around £8m. But has proven beyond doubt he can cope with the physical demands of English football, and is the defensive leader Liverpool have been desperately searching for.
Rodgers will have close on £50m to spend – plus anything he raises by selling off fringe players – and wants to make an impact with three top-class, big-money signings.
The Saints’ pair will be the central focus of his transfer policy this summer, but he also wants a left back and a top-class forward – and he has already identified two main targets in those positions.
Rodgers is a massive admirer of Bayern Munich forward Xherdan Shaqiri and is confident of a cut-price deal for the Swiss international, who has found starts hard to come by at the Allianz Arena.
The talented attacker is versatile to play all along the front line, but has been unable to force his way into Bayern’s regular starting XI since a £10m move from Switzerland’s Basel 18 months ago.
Liverpool feel they will be able to tempt the 22-year-old to England for a similar fee.
Doing so will mean there is money left over to pursue a left-back, with Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand top of the list.
While Jose Mourinho will be reluctant to allow any of his players leave for a club that is now very much a direct rival, Bertrand – loaned out to Aston Villa for the second half of the season just ended – has only two years left on his contract, and the Blues may be tempted to cash in if Liverpool are prepared to offer around £7m.
Lovren remains Rodgers’ primary target, but the sales of the likes of Daniel Agger, Iago Aspas, Pepe Reina, Luis Alberto and perhaps even Fabio Borini would raise sufficient funds for the manager to pursue all of his targets AND another midfielder – perhaps in a holding position.