After his superb form for Premier League early-season surprise package Southampton, Anfield looks Adam Lallana’s likeliest destination by the end of the summer and Braga midfielder Rafa Silva is reportedly being lined up as his St Mary’s replacement.
Lallana looks set to be in situ ahead of Liverpool’s 11/2 assault on the 2014/15 Premier League title, while England will need all of the St Albans native’s guile to get through World Cup Group D at 3/5 odds.
A £20m bid has been lodged by the Merseysiders, according to a raft of news sources and with 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw also thought to be on his way out of the south coast club for a huge fee, the Saints could end up as major players in the transfer market themselves this summer.
Silva could be the first of Mauricio Pochettino’s new faces – if the Argentine coach remains at Southampton – with the 20-year-old repeatedly scouted by the Saints’ backroom team as the 2013/14 season drew to a close.
Dubbed the ‘Portuguese Eden Hazard’ after a series of fine performances for Os Arcebispos in his first season at the Estádio Municipal de Braga, Silva tends to operate in the same spaces behind a centre-forward as Chelsea’s PFA Young Player of the Year and 26-year-old Three Lions springer Lallana.
Serie A giants Roma and Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen are also rumoured to be keen on the attacking-midfielder, while scouts from nouveau rich French side Monaco have been keeping tabs on his progress during his first Primeira Liga campaign.
Such an array of interest could push his price up beyond Southampton’s means, so the Saints must move quickly if they are to sell the St Mary’s project to Silva successfully.
Braga reportedly knocked back a £4.5m bid from Leverkusen recently and will hope to receive a fee closer to the £20m buy-out clause rumoured to be in the youngster’s contract.
Silva only signed for his current employers last summer on a five-year deal from Portuguese second-tier side Feirense, where he scored ten goals in 41 appearances in 2012/13.