Manchester United and Tottenham are also understood to be targeting the Southampton midfielder, who is considered a virtual certainty to be part of England’s World Cup squad
By Wayne Veysey
Adam Lallana has been targeted by a quartet of Champions League-calibre clubs ahead of the summer window, Goal understands.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham are all closely monitoring the England international amid growing doubts about his Southampton future.
Lallana is contracted to the Saints until 2018 after signing a new deal last year but those close to him believe that the next window could be the right time to move to one of England’s marquee clubs.
Southampton are believed to be prepared to cash in on some of their prize assets, who include not only Lallana but Luke Shaw, Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin.
New Southampton director Hans Hofstetter admitted last week that the restructured board had “inherited a difficult situation financially” as it emerged in the club’s latest set of annual accounts that there was an outstanding transfer debt of £27million.
Lallana, who joined the Saints as a 12-year-old and graduated from their famed academy, is rated in the £20m-plus bracket by the club and his value could rocket on the back of an impressive showing at this summer’s World Cup.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder has had an outstanding season for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, in which he has started 31 of their 32 Premier League matches and scored nine goals.
Lallana won his first England cap last November and has performed so well in each of his three international appearances that, coupled with his club form, he is regarded as a virtual certainty to make Roy Hodgson’s 23-man World Cup squad.
Pochettino spoke in glowing terms of his club captain in the wake of Southampton’s 4-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, describing him as a “special and unique player” who “has the skills of an [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi or [Cesc] Fabregas”.
The future of Lallana and his team-mates could be tied to that of Pochettino, who is yet to extend a contract that expires at the end of next season.
With the Argentine expected to be on Tottenham’s managerial target list should Tim Sherwood be sacked this summer, there is a possibility that Lallana might favour a move to Spurs.
However, Chelsea, Liverpool and United would all be in a position to offer the midfielder a bigger salary and the greater prospect of challenging for trophies than the north Londoners.