Adam Lallana looks increasingly likely to be donning the red of Liverpool next season, with reports suggesting the Anfield outfit have emerged as the overwhelming favourites to land the England international.
The 26-year-old had been touted to join up with former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino at his new club Tottenham, but according to Ben Jefferson of The Express, the Londoners have decided against making a move, paving the way for a transfer to Merseyside.
The Saints skipper was subject of a reported final offer of £25 million from Liverpool over the weekend, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, and although Southampton are reportedly holding out for a staggering £30 million, it only seems like a matter of time until the two clubs agree terms.
Tony Barrett of The Times has insisted Liverpool want the deal done quickly, though:
Liverpool's bid for Lallana has been increased to £25m. They now want the deal done quickly or will move on to other targets.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) May 30, 2014
Should he eventually put pen to paper on a deal, Lallana would join up with his England international team-mate Rickie Lambert at Anfield, with the 32-year-old on the brink of completing his own move from the Saints, per Ben Smith of BBC Sport.
While a reported fee of around the £25 million mark is substantial, it is clear that Brendan Rodgers is looking to establish a nexus of English talent in his Liverpool squad. Players like Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge have all flourished under Rodgers’ tutelage, and he’ll be hoping to take Lallana’s game to a new level should he eventually complete a move.
Lallana, who is set to play a key role for England at the 2014 World Cup, would add a refreshing new attacking option to this Liverpool team. His ability to find space and link the play with intricate touches would be a wonderful foil for the unshakeably menacing Luis Suarez and the blistering directness of Sterling and Sturridge.
There are question marks as to how he may fare at the very top level of the English game as well as in the Champions League, but Lallana is a man who seems to take everything in his stride. He’s settled seamlessly into the Premier League as well as the Three Lions setup, seemingly galvanised by the prospect of playing in front of the Wembley crowd.
There will be immense pressure on him to perform given what looks to be an enormous transfer fee, but in front of the stirring Anfield crowd, a player as mature and as talented as Lallana will surely continue to flourish.