Arsenal’s pursuit of Southampton star Romeo Lavia has hit a stumbling block as they trail behind Liverpool and Chelsea in the race to sign the 19-year-old midfielder.
Following Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League, they are demanding a fee of around £40 million to £50 million for Lavia’s services.
While Arsenal is keen on bolstering their midfield options in the summer transfer window, their priority target is West Ham United captain Declan Rice.
However, with the potential departures of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey, Arsenal is looking to secure both Rice and Lavia as their new midfield duo for the upcoming season.
Recent reports suggest that Liverpool and Chelsea have taken the lead in the race for Lavia’s signature, leaving Arsenal trailing behind.
The transfer prospects for Lavia have received a boost as Southampton’s new boss, Russell Martin, confirmed that some players will be leaving the club after their tough season.
This development has attracted interest from various clubs, including Liverpool, who have initiated talks with Southampton to secure Lavia’s services.
Arsenal is preparing to make an initial bid of £40 million for Lavia, which could conclude their pursuit of Moises Caicedo.
Talks between Arsenal and Lavia’s representatives have been progressing positively, indicating the Gunners’ strong interest in the young Belgian midfielder.
However, Chelsea remains interested in Lavia, adding competition for his signature.
The potential price tag for Lavia stands between £40 million and £50 million, partly due to clauses in his contract.
Manchester City, Lavia’s former club, holds a buyback clause that could match any bid and entitles them to 20% of any future sale.
As a result, Arsenal may need to meet a higher valuation to secure Lavia’s services.
It is worth noting that Arsenal’s transfer plans include targeting two midfielders from a shortlist that comprises Lavia, Moises Caicedo, and Declan Rice.
The club’s sporting director, Edu, aims to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad to bridge the gap with league leaders Manchester City.
Despite the speculation surrounding Lavia’s future, no concrete offers have been made by any club.
Southampton’s £12 million deal with Lavia last year includes a buyback clause for Manchester City, which becomes active in 2024. This clause adds complexity to any potential transfer negotiations.
Lavia’s recent rise to prominence has not gone unnoticed, particularly by his former Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne has praised Lavia’s skills, acknowledging his potential to become a top player.
In summary, Arsenal faces strong competition from Liverpool and Chelsea in their pursuit of Romeo Lavia. While talks and interest from various clubs, including Liverpool, have emerged, no official bids have been made.
Arsenal is preparing to make an offer in the range of £40 million for Lavia but may need to meet a higher valuation due to clauses in his contract.
The Gunners are also considering other midfield targets, such as Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice, as they aim to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.