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Southampton reject third Liverpool bid for Lavia

Liverpool have reportedly encountered another setback in their determined quest to sign Southampton whizz-kid Romeo Lavia.

According to Dharmesh Sheth, the Saints have turned down the Reds’ third bid of £45 million for the Belgian prodigy.

The recent departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have opened up space for a new midfielder, with Jurgen Klopp identifying the 19-year-old as the best candidate to fill the vacancy.

Liverpool forked out £35m to sign Alexi Mac Allister from Brighton & Hove Albion. But it will take much more to prise Lavia away from St Mary’s despite Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League.

Lavia’s contract in Hampshire runs out in 2027, which puts the Saints in a position of power, regardless of their current second-tier status.

Southampton have pinned a substantial £50m price tag on the youngster’s head in anticipation of a bidding war, particularly in light of Chelsea’s involvement in the race.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo remains Mauricio Pochettino’s primary target, but their excessive demands have discouraged the Blues’ pursuit of the Ecuadorian’s signature.

Although Pochettino still harbours genuine hope of clinching a deal for the Brighton star, he has cast a wide net in case his effort to sign Caicedo falls flat.

Chelsea are thinking of hijacking Liverpool’s bid to lure Lavia away from Southampton, and the Reds’ third rejected offer plays perfectly into their hands.

However, talks between Liverpool and Southampton are still alive, with Klopp remaining optimistic about getting the deal over the line.

Lavia wasn’t part of Russell Martin’s squad that eked out a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday in their opening Championship outing on Friday, fuelling speculation of his imminent exit.

It’s unlikely that Southampton will keep hold of Lavia and James Ward-Prowse this summer amid intense rumours linking them with several Premier League clubs.

But Lavia’s sale could help the Saints keep hold of their captain.

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