Jurgen Klopp set for Liverpool scouting mission to watch teenager Pep Guardiola raved about

Liverpool have been linked with a transfer for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia ahead of the summer window.
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It's a game that both sets of supporters aren't likely to get too enthused about. As dead rubbers go, Liverpool's trip to Southampton on the final day of the 2022-23 season is very much one of them.

Both sides have underachieved given their expectations at the start of the campaign. Southampton have already been relegated from the Premier League with their 10-year top-flight status surrendered.

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The Reds, meanwhile, have failed to challenge for silverware and missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in seven years.

Granted, it's one final chance to say goodbye to Roberto Firmino and James Milner. Yet apart from that, Kopites won't exactly be feverish at the thought of the clash at St Mary's.

All eyes are very much on the upcoming transfer window for Liverpool. It's set to be the busiest summer at Anfield since perhaps 2018 - with midfield the chief area that needs bolstering. The Reds will not just make their first signing in the engine room since Thiago Alcantara's 2020 arrival but several are set to arrive to replace Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

A plethora of midfielders have been linked so far. Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister, Chelsea's Mason Mount and Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch are high on the shopping list while players such as Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan) and Joao Palhinha (Fulham) have also been mentioned.

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As has Southampton's Romeo Lavia. The 19-year-old joined the Saints from Manchester City for a reported fee that could rise to £14 million last summer. He's been a regular for Southampton despite his tender age, making 33 appearances and scoring one goal. In terms of players aged 20 and under, no-one in the Premier League has managed more than the 2365 minutes he's been handed.

Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty ImagesSouthampton’s Romeo Lavia. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images

More impressively, in terms of central midfielders this season, Wyscout ranks him the 18th best in the top flight - ahead of the likes of Liverpool's very own Thiago, Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic and Tottenham's Rodrigo Bentancur. Lavia is also a full Belgium international, having been handed his senior debut by Roberto Martinez in March.

Bizarrely, after joining Southampton last summer, only weeks later Chelsea reportedly tried to purchase him for £50 million. Then-Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was left baffled by the approach.

Lavia is primarily a defensive midfielder, which is why Liverpool may be interested. Fabinho has policed the middle of the park forthe Reds since he joined from Monaco in 2018. However, while the Brazil international's form has picked up in recent weeks, he'd been out of sorts for much of the campaign before that. The reason for his jettison, some feel, was fatigue. During his five years at Anfield, there has been no natural deputy. After a 63-game season in 2021-22 as the Reds pursued an unprecendented quadruple, that theory may well have substance behind it. Someone who can rotate with Fabinho may appeal to Klopp when it comes to his recruitment.

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Man City are said to have a £40 million buy-back clause installed in Lavia's Southampton contract, with Pep Guardiola recently admitting he's been 'really impressed' by the youngster and the Premier League champions have an 'incredible opinion about him'.

If Liverpool are indeed interested then Klopp's about to get a first-hand look at Lavia's capabilities.