Saints are continuing to play hardball with Liverpool over a deal for Adam Lallana.
The Reds, who are due to complete the capture of Rickie Lambert today, also want to land Lallana before the World Cup begins, writes GORDON SIMPSON.
Liverpool lodged a final bid of £25m on Friday night and informed Saints that the transfer must be completed ahead of this summer’s tournament, or else they will turn their attention elsewhere.
However, despite that ultimatum, which the Anfield club also issued over a deal for Lambert, Saints have so far remained unmoved.
As chairman Ralph Krueger revealed last week, they want to hold off on all transfer dealings until a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino is appointed.
They broke from that policy after Liverpool’s bid for Lambert, believing that it could do more harm than good to prevent the striker making a dream move to his boyhood club.
However, they feel in a stronger position when it comes to Lallana, as is the case in regards to Luke Shaw, with Manchester United making their own attempts to push through a transfer for the teenage left-back this week.
Saints have so far ignored Liverpool’s offer and, with Lallana and the rest of the England squad having landed in Miami last night for a pre-World Cup camp, time is running out for the Reds to strike a deal.
Liverpool, who also want to sign Dejan Lovren this summer, are willing to send staff to Florida this week to conduct a medical, with the national team manager, Roy Hodgson, having said he will allow that to happen during free time if necessary.
However, a deal would need to be agreed with Saints first, and if that does not happen by the end of the week then there is no prospect of it being done before the World Cup is over.
Lallana has previously said that it “makes no difference” to him whether his future is sorted out before or after the tournament, although he is understood to be interested in exploring the possibility of a move to Anfield.
But Liverpool are adamant that they will not offer any more for the player, and although they may be bluffing about switching their attention to other targets, there is a distinct possibility they may chose to move on if this week proves fruitless for them.
If Lallana is desperate to go, he could attempt to force his way out, but, given his affinity to Saints, that would be a big call for him to make.
One Saints player who is definitely leaving before the World Cup is Lambert.
The 32-year-old should be confirmed as a Liverpool player today, having passed a medical on Saturday morning, with Saints receiving up to £5m for him, plus add-ons.