Football

Rodgers wants Lallana to follow Lambert to Pool

Reds make improved $52m bid for Saints playmaker

Liverpool have stepped up their transfer activity with an improved final-offer bid of £25 million ($52m) for Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana.

With Saints teammate Rickie Lambert arriving on Merseyside yesterday for a medical ahead of a £4m move back to his boyhood club, it's widely understood that manager Brendan Rodgers has made another push for midfielder Lallana.

The Reds had an initial bid of £20m rejected, but have gone back to Southampton with an increased amount.

However, as with Lambert, the Merseysiders are not prepared to hang around in their pursuit of targets and the offer is effectively a take-it-or-leave-it move.

Lallana is believed to be keen on a move to Anfield, so it leaves the Saints in a tricky position. If they reject Liverpool's advances once again, they risk alienating a player who has been loyal servant to the club.

SURPRISE MOVE

Already 32, striker Lambert emerged as a surprise option for the Reds during their on-going discussions with the south-coast club over Lallana.

When it became apparent there was a deal to be done, the Anfield club insisted it be completed quickly and set Southampton a deadline of this weekend - before the England squad fly out to Miami today for the next stage of their World Cup preparations.

The wheels are in motion for Lambert, who travelled to Liverpool on Friday night following England's 3-0 friendly victory over Peru at Wembley, where the striker was an unused substitute.

After staying in a city centre hotel, he arrived at the Spire Liverpool Hospital shortly before 9am yesterday in club vehicle where he joined the team's doctor - Zaf Iqbal.

Providing his medical does not throw up any problems, he is likely to be confirmed as the club's first signing of the summer tomorrow.

The move for Lallana may take some pushing to get it over the line quickly, even though national team boss Roy Hodgson has already stated he would like the future of players considering moves this summer to be sorted before the tournament in Brazil begins.

ALTERNATIVES

Should the £25m offer for Lallana not be accepted, Rodgers will move on to other targets, with Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri an alternative, although it is believed there is pressure from the player - who wants a move to Anfield - for the deal to be done.

Another Southampton player, defender Dejan Lovren, remains a target and there are others, although Rodger's interest in Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can is running into complications.

The two clubs plan more talks over the weekend which are likely to give a clearer idea whether the Germany Under-21 international will also move to Anfield.

Although there is a buy-out clause of about £10m which Liverpool are willing to meet, there is another stumbling block to be overcome in the form of Bayern Munich, who have first option on a buy-back of the player they sold last summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have also made a bid, reported to be in the region of £16m, for Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno, but are still in negotiations with the Europa League winners. - PA Sport.