Liverpool are ready to rival, you guessed it Spurs, in their pursuit of Roma star Erik Lamela.
The summer transfer targets of Spurs and Liverpool have almost mirrored each other in recent seasons and while Andre Villas-Boas and his back-room team appear to have the edge of the their Northern rivals at the moment, yet another game of cat and mouse appears to be emerging.
Hours after it was revealed that Spurs had beaten Liverpool to the signature of marquee signing Willian, not to be confused with the former Black eye peas front man, reports are now emerging that Liverpool have made a move on, sorry, for Erik Lamela.
According to a number of English newspapers Spurs are believed to be close to the capture of the 21 year old Argentine star however those reports are contrary to the news emanating from Italy with Sky Sports Italy claiming that a meeting between the two clubs today failed to yield a breakthrough on the price.
Roma want £30 million for the versatile attacker but Spurs are only willing to be ready to pay £25 million. While the difference in valuation is not insurmountable it has allowed other interested parties to enter the discussions with Liverpool and Arsenal ready to pounce.
Lamela is rated as one of Europe’s top talents after an impressive season with the Serie A side last year. The 3 times capped Argentine International scored 15 goals and assisted 5 in 33 league games to finish 5th in the Italian scoring charts.
Roma’s financial position has improved following the sale of Pablo Osvaldo to Southampton and defender Marquinhos to Paris St. Germain while Marco Borriello could also be on the move with Fulham and West Ham taking advantage of Roma direct Walter Sabatini’s trip to London by engaging in talks for the former Milan striker.
However it is the future of Lamela which is most pressing at the moment and with Liverpool on the lookout for a marquee player to bolster their attacking options and allow Philippe Coutinho to play in a more central attacking role Reds boss Brendan Rodgers could agree to meet Roma’s asking price.
Arsenal are also allegedly in the hunt and have the funds to compete with their rivals Arsene Wenger it could, like Liverpool, be once again a case of too late to the party.