Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has described the Reds' pursuit of Romeo Lavia as 'embarrassing', while questioning why his old club aren't in for Moises Caicedo.
Liverpool saw a third bid for Lavia rejected by Southampton on Monday, with reports suggesting the latest offer totalled £45-46m including add-ons.
Negotiations between the two clubs continue, but the Saints remain resolute on their £50m asking price – a valuation Liverpool seem reluctant to meet.
Other options have been touted as the Reds continue their summer rebuild, but the start of the new season is now perilously close and Jurgen Klopp does not have a fit, specialist defensive midfielder in his first-team squad.
Responding to the news of the latest failed bid on Twitter, Carragher – echoing the frustrations of many Liverpool fans – wrote: "This is embarrassing.
"Liverpool for years now have got deals done quickly with no fuss. If you don’t think he’s worth £50m move on, if you really want him pay it. Also not sure why LFC aren’t in for [Moises] Caicedo, yes it’s a lot of money but Liverpool got big money for JH/FAB [Jordan Henderson and Fabinho]."
This is embarrassing.
Liverpool for years now have got deals done quickly with no fuss.
If you don’t think he’s worth 50M move on, if you really want him pay it.
Also not sure why LFC aren’t in for Caicedo, yes it’s a lot of money but Liverpool got big money for JH/FAB 🤷♂️ https://t.co/nNP05udQP8
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 7, 2023
Brighton want as much as £100m for Caicedo, with Chelsea among his suitors.
The Blues have had multiple bids rejected for the Ecuadorian already, with some reports suggesting they could in turn switch their focus to Lavia in their midfielder hunt.
Southampton CEO Phil Parsons has insisted that Lavia will not be sold 'on the cheap' this summer, even after the 19-year-old Belgian was left out of the Saints' Championship opener on Friday.
Should Lavia feature in the EFL Cup tie on Tuesday, he will be cup-tied, if he eventually does complete a move to Liverpool.
Elsewhere, the Reds have been linked with the likes of Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich) and Andre Trindade (Fluminense), though neither have the same defensive midfield profile as Lavia.