Liverpool are ready to wait until after the World Cup to seal a £25 million deal for Adam Lallana and want the Southampton captain to force through a move to Anfield, Goal understands.
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While Liverpool will not improve their take-it-or-leave-it bid, they have assured Lallana privately that he remains their top target for the summer and they are prepared to wait until after the World Cup to land their man.
Lallana, 26, is desperate to join Liverpool and is expected to submit a formal transfer request when he returns from Brazil, having already told Southampton of his desire to move to Merseyside and play in the Champions League.
He may even refuse to take part in the Saints' pre-season matches if the south coast club refuse to strike a deal with Liverpool, who have made two formal bids having had their initial £20m offer rejected last month.
But his future will almost certainly now be decided after the World Cup, with Lallana focused on the World Cup as England continue their preparations at a training camp in Miami.
Mauricio Pochettino was keen on reuniting with Lallana at Tottenham but the Londoners had no interest in an expensive bidding war, despite the excellent relationship between the pair from their time together at St Mary’s.
Southampton, who have already sold Rickie Lambert to Liverpool, released a statement on Monday confirming they have received ‘multiple offers’ for some of their players but want to wait until they have appointed a new manager before conducting any further transfer business.
The Saints are in a strong negotiating position with four years remaining on Lallana’s contract, although a 25 per cent sell-on fee is due to Bournemouth, the playmaker’s former club and has complicated the transfer.
Lallana scored nine goals and provided eight assists for Southampton in the Premier League this season and was rewarded with a place in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.