Southampton have made a huge £75m decision on West Ham and Liverpool deals for their season opener on Friday night.
And Liverpool are pushing to try and sign Southampton’s Belgian midfield sensation Romeo Lavia.
The Hammers saw their latest offer of £30m including add-ons rejected by the relegated south coast club and have threatened to walk away from the deal while Saints insist they want closer to £40m.
And Liverpool saw their own improved £40m bid for Lavia rejected earlier this week with Sky Sports claiming Southampton want £50m for the ex Man City starlet.
Football Insider has claimed West Ham are ‘still confident’ of getting a deal done for Ward-Prowse.
Southampton make huge £75m decision on West Ham and Liverpool deals for season opener on Friday night
And Sky Sports claims West Ham and Liverpool have not given up on their respective transfer targets despite being knocked back.
Now Southampton have made a huge £75m decision on West Ham and Liverpool deals for their season opener on Friday night.
The Saints kick off the Championship season away at Sheffield Wednesday on Friday evening.
‘I don’t know what will change between now and then’
Southampton boss Russell Martin has confirmed transfer targets Lavia and Ward-Prowse will be involved in their Championship opener.
“West Ham and Liverpool have not given up on their respective transfer targets but are looking at alternative options while both players are set to be involved in Southampton’s opening game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, live on Sky Sports,” the report states.
“Both will be involved on Friday night, as it stands,” said Martin in his pre-match news conference.
“I don’t know what will change between now and then. Do I think they will be Southampton players by the end of the window? I have not got a clue.”
Brinkmanship or unnecessary risk? Any last minute withdrawal will be a telltale sign
It may be brinkmanship from Southampton in a bid to try and force the Hammers and Liverpool to stump up the extra cash.
But if true then it is a seriously risky strategy from the Championship club.
They are essentially taking a £75m risk playing the duo considering that is guaranteed money should they accept.
An injury to either could scupper any deals. And with the club already missing out on well over £100m in revenue next season, it’s a big gamble.
Whether the decision sparks improved bids from West Ham or Liverpool remains to be seen.
But if either are pulled out of the game at Wednesday at the last minute then it would suggest something is afoot.