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Rickie Lambert returning to Liverpool

Updated: Saturday, 31 May 2014 11:17 | Comments

Rickie Lambert has taken a rather circuitous route back to the Merseyside giants
Rickie Lambert has taken a rather circuitous route back to the Merseyside giants

Liverpool are poised to confirm Rickie Lambert as their first signing of the summer after the Anfield club agreed an initial fee of £4million with Southampton for the England striker.

Providing he emerges from England's friendly with Peru at Wembley tonight unscathed, Lambert will travel to Merseyside for a medical on Saturday.

Once that is completed the Reds expect to be in a position to complete the formalities of the paperwork and announce the 32-year-old's arrival at the start of next week.

There are a number of add-ons tied in to the deal but the eventual figure will not get close to the £9million being suggested in some quarters.

By the time the deal, believed to be for two years, is officially concluded Lambert is likely to already be in Miami for the next stage of England's World Cup preparations.

The transfer has progressed quickly as Liverpool said it had to be done before the World Cup and with the player keen to rejoin the club he left as a teenager, Saints found it difficult to stand in his way given the forward's service to the club.

Lambert was born in Kirkby, Merseyside, and was a member of Liverpool's academy until his mid-teens when he was released and found himself plying his trade in the lower leagues for the likes of Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before finding success at Southampton.

He will provide some much-needed back-up to frontline strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at Anfield and while he may have to content himself with a supporting role from the bench, the chance to rejoin his boyhood club and play in the Champions League was an opportunity he did not want to miss.

Manager Brendan Rodgers' interest in Lambert came out of left-field while he was pursuing deals for the striker's team-mates Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.

Lallana was seen as the primary target to bolster the Reds' midfield, with Lovren less so for the centre of defence, but Lambert will be the first through the door at Anfield in what is expected to be a busy summer as they look to strengthen ahead of a return to the Champions League.

Liverpool have made a bid, reported to be in the region of £16million, for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno but are still in negotiations with the Europa League winners.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can and Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm have also been strongly linked with moves to the Merseyside club.

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