By Kevin Koczwara
That was quick. Liverpool and Southampton have reportedly agreed to a deal that will bring Rickie Lambert to Liverpool, making him the first signing of the summer for the Reds and the second high-profile departure for Southampton, behind that of the club’s former manager Mauricio Pochettino left earlier this summer to join Tottenham, who finished eighth in the Premier League last year.
The fee for the 32-year-old forward is believed to be in the region of £4.5m and included numerous performance based add-ons. He is set to have a medical on Saturday, giving him a chance to play in England’s World Cup warm-up game against Peru today. There are five other Liverpool players in the England squad.
Reports came out yesterday that Liverpool had made a move for Lambert after finding out that he was made available by Southampton. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is a known admirer of the forward and decided to try and lure Lambert to the club he supported as a young boy. Lambert was once part of Liverpool’s youth program before being released.
Lambert has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the club.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Agreement in place between Liverpool and Southampton. Rickie Lambert will have a medical on Saturday – 2yr deal.</p>— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/BenSmithBBC/statuses/472306008929611777″>May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Liverpool is still monitoring Lambert’s Southampton teammates Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana. There has been no official movement on Liverpool’s bid for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno or on the club’s pursuit of Emre Can, which has stalled because of the player’s wage demands.
For more information about Lambert and his journey to finally make an appearance for Liverpool, read this story on The Liverpool Echo: Rickie Lambert’s long and winding road to Anfield is a football fairytale