Southampton F.C. captain Adam Lallana has admitted he has ‘decisions to make’ amid reports linking him with a £20 million summer move to Liverpool.
The England international, 26, enjoyed a sensational 2013/14 campaign with the Saints, which was highlighted by being nominated for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.
Lallana is now said to be attracting interest from a host of top English Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
United had been in pole position to sign the highly-rated 26-year-old ace but the Reds’ bitter rivals Liverpool, this year’s runners-up in the league, are now odd-on at 1/4 to win the race for the Saints’ academy graduate.
When asked about his interest in Lallana ahead of Championship Sunday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told reporters: “I saw something on that yesterday. I’m sure you could respect that I’d never talk about another player at another club.
“It’s purely speculation. Adam’s a terrific young talent, but for us, there’s always speculation about top young players.”
‘Speculation’ regarding Lallana’s long-term future has continued following an emotional speech at the club’s awards night on Tuesday.
Many pundits believe the speech was a farewell and thank you. But again, this is purely speculation.
“I got emotional because it’s been a journey that I couldn’t have dreamed of – but I’m not saying that this is the end by any means,” Lallana said.
“Obviously, with how well the club and its players have done, there are going to be some decisions to make in the summer, and maybe it all hit home a little bit when I was speaking.
“How far we’ve come in a short space of time is beyond anyone’s belief. We’ve won our league, in our eyes, with where we’ve finished.
“We’re now in a position where we have to sit down as a club and decide what is best and what’s the right route to take, because we want to be a stable club – that’s the main thing.
“We want to be competing in the Premier League for the next four or five years and forever longer.”
The Southampton Player of the Year, whose current contract at St Mary’s expires in the summer of 2018, tallied nine goals and six assists in 38 Premier League appearances for the Saints in 2013/14.
Moreover, he is an absolute shoe in to feature for England at next month’s World Cup finals in Brazil, with the Three Lions priced at 33/1 to win the competition.