Adam Lallana has hinted he may stay at Southampton after winning four accolades at the club's end-of-season awards, dealing a major blow to Liverpool's chances of capturing the England international this summer.
The classy midfielder—who was named Saints' player of the year in each of the fans, players and away supporters club votes—also grabbed the goal of the season award for his excellent individual strike against Hull.
Such performances have seen him linked with Brendan Rodgers' side and Manchester United, but it seems Lallana is content at St. Mary's, as reported by Charlie Skillen of the Daily Mail:
"The club means the world to me. I've been here since I was 12 and I want to keep progressing with the club," said the 25-year-old. "I've got a great relationship with the fans. We've been on a journey, and this is the icing on the cake."
Lallana's suggestion that he wishes to "keep progressing with the club" may come under threat if Mauricio Pochettino exits. The Argentinian manager is being touted for a move to Tottenham, a switch that could see Southampton's key players follow him toward the exit, per Matt Law of the Telegraph.
Les Reed, football director at the club, previously denied any chance of Southampton cashing in on their star names, as reported by Adam Leitch of the Southern Daily Echo:
Reports that we are about to close deals on certain players are totally misinformed, misleading and are not true. No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players so reports that some of our players are in the process of negotiating stellar transfer fees or contracts are absolutely misinformed and inaccurate.
Lallana, who is likely to represent England at the World Cup after his excellent domestic performances, would fit right in at Liverpool. He can play centrally or from the left, is clever in possession and has the vision to split defences with his passing. The technical player often picks the ball up from deep and drives forward, forcing the opposition onto the back foot.
Which player do Liverpool need most?
Considering this type of threat with mobile players such as Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling ahead of Lallana is a mouth-watering prospect. Rodgers likes his players to offer versatile, multi-faceted strengths, something the Southampton star boasts in abundance.
Liverpool are likely to deploy in the region of £60 million on new signings this summer, as reported by David Anderson of the Mirror. Antoine Griezmann, who continues to tear up La Liga with Real Sociedad, has been scouted by the club, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
The speedy forward can play anywhere along the attacking line and is comfortable on either wing. He has notched 16 goals in the Spanish domestic division, per WhoScored.com, but he is set to miss out on Champions League football next year. Liverpool can offer a stint in Europe's elite competition, perhaps a tempting prospect for the 23-year-old.
Liverpool will undoubtedly need to strengthen across the board heading into next season. Champions League football, as well as bigger expectations, ensures Rodgers needs additional strength in depth to deploy throughout a busy schedule.
Players such as Lallana and Griezmann are exactly the right mould for Anfield. Versatile, improving and with plenty to prove, these potential targets outline the image of a club that is on the up. While the Merseysiders may miss out on this year's Premier League title, the acquisition of players of this ilk will ensure Rodgers' squad is primed for a successful future.