Premier League - Liverpool 'close to shock deal for Rickie Lambert'

Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal for Southampton and England striker Rickie Lambert, according to reports.

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Premier League - Liverpool 'close to shock deal for Rickie Lambert'
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Southampton's English striker Rickie Lambert shoots to score the opening goal during their Premier League match with Manchester United

Sky Sports bookmaking department Sky Bet were the first to report potential interest as they suspended betting on the potential move after a stream of bets.

Then the channel reported that the two clubs were close to agreeing a fee 'in the region of £8 million to £9 million" for the striker who is currently with the England squad preparing for the World Cup in Brazil.

The Southampton based Daily Echo then revealed that "sources close to the player" confirmed the deal was close to completion although they put the fee at £4m plus add-ons.

Liverpool have been linked heavily with Lambert's club mate Adam Lallana all season, but the move for 32-year-old striker has come from left field.

He started the day 5/1 with Sky Bet to join Liverpool before the money came flooding in.

Southampton are in danger of seeing an exodus from their club, with manager Mauricio Pochettino beginning the process earlier this week by agreeing to become Tottenham boss.

As well as Lallana, the likes of Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne have also been linked with moves away from St Mary's.

The story of how Lambert spent time working in a beetroot factory has almost become cliched but encapsulates his Roy of the Rovers rise.

Lambert worked there after being released by Blackpool in 2000, before going on to spend time at Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before making a £1million move to Southampton five years ago.

When Lambert joined the Saints they were still in League One but he has scored over 100 goals for the club and helped them establish themselves in the Premier League.

Just last year he made his England debut against Scotland, scoring in the process, and has won three more caps since, scoring one more goal.

He would likely jump at the chance to join Liverpool – his hometown club.

He was on Liverpool's books as a 10-year-old but was released when he was 15.

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