Rickie Lambert to Aston Villa: Liverpool striker turned down deadline day move in order to fight for his place at Anfield

Liverpool accepted a last-ditch bid from Villa only for Lambert to reject leaving his childhood club

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The Independent Football

Rickie Lambert’s deadline day transfer from Liverpool to Aston Villa fell through at the last minute because the striker did not want to join the Premier League strugglers.

Villa, who suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, have not scored in over 10 hours of football in the worst dry-spell in front of goal in the club’s history. It was this unwelcome statistic that led them to launch a last-ditch attempt to sign the out-of-sorts striker, who has scored just twice in the Premier League since his £4m move from Southampton last summer.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has had to deal with the absence of Daniel Sturridge as well as having three strikers who are all performing below their best this season, and Lambert has more often than not found himself on the substitutes’ bench.

But when the option of joining Villa became available on Monday night, it looked like a distinct possibility that the Englishman – who has dropped out of Roy Hodgson’s national team plans – would be heading to the Midlands, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute.

The Guardian reports that the Reds were initially reluctant to let Lambert leave so soon after his arrival, but a cash-only offer suddenly got their attention and 32-year-old was informed of the bid, only to tell the club’s hierarchy that he is determined to fight for his place at the team he supported as a young boy.

Rickie Lambert wants to fight for his place at Liverpool

Alan Pardew had confirmed his interest in Lambert earlier in the transfer window only to be informed by Rodgers that he would not be leaving in January, while Hull were also reported to be interested in taking on the forward.

However, with Divock Origi set to join the club at the end of the season once he completes his loan spell with Lille and the impending move for Danny Ings, as revealed by The Independent, Lambert could easily find himself on the move in the summer.

Should the Reds get their wish and sign Burnley striker Ings for £5m, Rodgers will have six first-team strikers in his squad, with Lambert, Sturridge and Origi joined by Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli. The likelihood is that the latter two would be allowed to leave the club along with Lambert having failed to fire on all cylinders this season, giving them just over three months to save their Anfield careers.