Shane Long to Liverpool: Southampton 'want £12m' for Ireland striker

The Reds are without Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings through injury and fell to defeat to Manchester United on Sunday

Southampton have reportedly told Liverpool it will take an offer in the region of £12m to convince them to sell striker Shane Long.

The south-coast club paid Hull City that amount for Long’s services in August 2014 and - according to The Sun - want to recoup all of their money if they are to let him leave after just one-and-a-half years.

Ronald Koeman’s men signed Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin for £4m last week, sparking rumours of an imminent exit for one of their established strikers.

Jürgen Klopp, the Reds manager, will be keen to appease disgruntled supporters following the 1-0 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday in the wake of long-term injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings.

The report suggests his initial bid of £8m was refused out-of-hand but the Republic of Ireland international striker, who scored eight goals last season, may be inclined to ask for permission to speak to Liverpool if their interest proves to be concrete. 

It would continue a tradition of the Merseyside outfit looking to St Mary’s for new signings after the recent acquisitions of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert.

Steven Caulker, previously on loan in the south coast, joined the Anfield outfit last week on a temporary deal from Championship side QPR.

Speaking after Austin’s arrival, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger said: “Players coming in and out of here in the last two weeks of the transfer window is not in the plan. I would never say never on either direction because it’s the nature of the sport; you don’t know what opportunities present themselves.

“At the moment we are pleased with the depth and Ronald has shown we have different line-ups.

“Ideally would be to keep all those names in the line-up.”