MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2023: Southampton's Roméo Lavia during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Romeo Lavia ‘uninterested’ with “a lot in his head” hours after Liverpool bid

Romeo Lavia made his first outing for Southampton since a rejected bid from Liverpool was made public, with the Belgian seen as “uninterested.”

Though Fabinho‘s proposed move to Al-Ittihad has hit a roadblock, the Reds are pushing forward with a move for 19-year-old defensive midfielder Lavia.

It comes after an exodus in the midfield ranks already this summer, seeing James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and loanee Arthur leave, while Jordan Henderson prepares to join Al Ettifaq.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Liverpool have already submitted a bid worth £37 million for Southampton‘s No. 45, which was then rejected.

A new offer is expected in the near future, but with no switch imminent, Lavia was part of Russell Martin’s squad to play Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly that evening.

Lavia had already clocked 94 minutes over meetings with Benfica, Goztepe and Reading, and he was part of the starting lineup at St Mary’s.

According to Sky Sports reporter James Green, though, the teenager “looked like a player wanting a move away” as he produced an “uninterested” display.

“Head down, often walking around,” was the verdict, and though Lavia still “showed glimpses of his class” he “looked like he had the weight of the world on him.”

That should come as no surprise given the situation, and Green added that it is “very likely a deal will be agreed soon.”

2023. Belgium's Romeo Lavia BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR Credit: Belga News Agency/Alamy Live News

Lavia was brought off at half-time along with right-back James Bree, though this was almost certainly more due to the gradual buildup of minutes after injury saw him pull out of this summer’s U21 Euros.

Nevertheless, speaking to reporters including BBC Radio Solent Sport after the game, Martin admitted that the youngster had “a lot in his head.”

Martin was quoted by Green: “[I was] pleased with his attitude, the easiest thing to do would be to not play tonight.

“[It is] not easy for a young player to handle the noise, but he’s handled it well.

“[The] latest news is very public, he may still be here he may not.”

Southampton's Romeo Lavia celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: Tuesday August 30, 2022 (Steven Paston/PA)

Interestingly, Martin added that he expects his squad to look “very different” by the time Southampton take on Sheffield Wednesday in their Championship opener on August 4.

“The process has to be that we lose some players,” he admitted.

Lavia is the most valuable asset in the Southampton squad, and though their first offer was dismissed, all signs point to Liverpool signing him in the near future.