Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Monday May 12 2014
Liverpool appear to be edging towards securing a pre-World Cup deal for England international Adam Lallana...
According to well-placed reports emanating today, including from the BBC and local media on the South Coast, Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Adam Lallana from Southampton.
The club's interest in the midfielder is well known but the Reds now appear keen to act quickly and wrap up a deal before this summer's World Cup starts in Brazil.
Indeed some sources, such as the Daily Mail and Daily Star, believe an agreement could be in place by this time next week when the 26-year-old travels to Portugal for an England training camp.
The publications also state the player has set his heart on moving to Anfield despite interest from elsewhere.
Lallana has certainly made no secret of his desire to test himself at the highest level and commented in Southampton's match day programme on Sunday: "I'm ambitious. I want to one day play in the Champions League."
Although refusing to be drawn on the mounting speculation last week, Kop boss Brendan Rodgers did acknowledge the player was 'a terrific young talent'.
The former Bournemouth youngster has enjoyed an impressive season at St Mary's, playing 42 times and scoring 10 goals.
The Saints finished a highly commendable eighth on 56 points and Lallana's fine form earned him the club's Player of the Year accolade and a place in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Year.
A Three Lions debut against Chile in November was followed by subsequent appearances against Germany and Denmark.
Such has been his impact on the international stage, many observers are even tipping Lallana for a starting birth when Roy Hodgson's squad get their World Cup campaign underway against Italy in Manaus on 14 June.
Deciding to make a move will not have been easy for the Saints captain who joined the club as a schoolboy and made his senior debut way back in 2006.
The general consensus seems to conclude the transfer will be worth upwards of £20million.
Regardless of the cost and how quickly any outstanding details can be ironed out, no transfers can be officially completed until the next window opens on 1 July.
Although it's still too early to get carried away, as we've seen with prospective transfers in the past, Lallana is an impressively rounded player who I rate very highly. Rodgers is very keen to have players who can combine technique with hard work and Lallana would fit the mould perfectly. Ideally I wouldn't want to spend the quoted figure on him, if at all possible, but given he is a known quantity and we have the additional money from Champions League qualification it isn't an outrageous sum either. Also, as much as I'm a fan of Lallana, I hope the club is prioritising the defence and a new defensive midfielder as these areas are a far more pressing concern.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Monday May 12 2014
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