Adam Lallana's potential move from Southampton to Liverpool could be under threat as the Reds are not prepared to pay over the odds for the England midfielder.
According to Timothy Abraham in the Daily Star, Saints are looking to get as much money as they possibly can for their 26-year-old star:
Southampton are playing hardball over a fee for the England playmaker but Liverpool chiefs have indicated they will not pay over the odds.
Saints are understood to want a structured deal worth £26m with add-ons which could rise to close to £30m.
Liverpool have already tabled an offer in the region of £20m for Lallana, 26, and although there is room for negotiation the Merseyside club will not break the bank.
Lallana's move to Anfield has been strongly rumoured for some time now and the Reds will most likely want to confirm a deal before the World Cup starts in Brazil on June 12.
However, as the Daily Mirror's David Anderson points out, this is seemingly unlikely as Southampton will look to get more money for Lallana if he performs well at the summer's showpiece event:
It may be hard for Liverpool to land Lallana and Lovren before World Cup because Saints will feel their value will increase if they do well.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) May 19, 2014
As well as simply wanting to bring in as much money as possible for one of their star players, Southampton are looking to up the fee paid for Lallana due to the 25 percent sell-on clause that will see a large chunk of cash go to his former club Bournemouth.
Per Abraham's piece, a quarter of any transfer fee Saints receive for Lallana must go to the Cherries as part of their compensation package, set by an FA tribunal.
Lallana was just a boy when he joined the Southampton academy from Bournemouth in the year 2000, but the Dorset outfit look set to be very well compensated if he is sold to Liverpool.
The Reds must try to avoid a similar situation to that of the most recent January transfer window when they missed out on the key signings of Yevhen Konoplyanka and Mohamed Salah, per BBC Sport's Phil McNulty:
Salah goes to Chelsea while the Konoplyanka deals fails to get over the line. Big frustration for Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) January 31, 2014
The failure to bag Salah, who eventually went to Chelsea for £12 million, was exactly because Liverpool refused to meet his increased valuation, per Andy Hunter in The Guardian.
While Liverpool are looking to save as much money as possible, they would do well to stay in for Lallana, even if his price tag does increase.
How much is Lallana worth?
He bagged nine goals and six assists, per WhoScored.com, as Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League during the 2013-14 season, and he would be a fine addition to the Reds' young and dynamic midfield.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers needs to add quality to his squad with Champions League football on the horizon next season, and Lallana most certainly fits the bill.