Adam Lallana has reiterated he wishes to play in the Champions League, fuelling speculation the Southampton man will secure a switch to Liverpool in the summer.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming World Cup with England, Lallana made no mistake when setting out his desires for the future, as reported by John Cross of the Mirror:
I'm ambitious. I have aspirations to play in the Champions League. Ever since I've played international football, you realise there's that other level to play at. It would be great.
I went to a couple of the Champions League games last year and the feeling you get, the buzz, it's an unbelievable atmosphere. It's definitely a goal of mine to play in the Champions League.
Liverpool are willing to spend up to £25 million on the crafty midfielder, according to Gary Jones of the Daily Star. The 26-year-old has rocketed through the ranks with Southampton and defines the club's style as captain. He is technically gifted on the ball and looks to move forward quickly with incisive passes and dribbles, while hard work also comes naturally.
The player's future may hinge on that of Mauricio Pochettino, who is said to be speaking with Tottenham over the White Hart Lane vacancy, per Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian. Should the Argentinian manager move on, Saints fans may have to deal with a mass exodus of stars.
Lallana credited Pochettino with his ascension to international football, calling the tactician "one of the best managers out there," per Cross' report. Without Pochettino at the club, Southampton's direction and future loses all of the assurance we have come to expect over the past season. Stability at Anfield begins to appear rather enticing.
Brendan Rodgers' decision to sign a new contract highlights the progress made. The Northern Irish manager is the man for Liverpool's future and indicated he wishes "to build on the foundations" laid across his two seasons in charge, per Jones.
The Reds narrowly missed out on winning the 2013-14 Premier League title, but their return to the Champions League serves as a reminder of how far the club has come in a relatively small space of time. Players like Lallana—those who possess the hunger and desire to improve against Europe's elite—will be vital to Liverpool's prolonged success.
Rodgers would be wise to tie this one up before the World Cup. Lallana's continental style could see him emerge as a target for European clubs if he performs well, raising his already hefty price further.
The Liverpool boss knows exactly what Lallana offers, suggesting it's time to make a decision, especially as the Merseyside club can offer the player what he wants for the next season at least.