Arsenal and Chelsea are both interested in Southampton striker Romeo Lavia but are currently focused on other summer signings.
Romeo Lavia seems destined to be at the center of a major summer transfer battle, with a departure from Southampton appearing to be very likely.
Arsenal and Chelsea have shown the most interest in signing him so far, with the latter even attempting to sign him from Southampton last summer in the same window they signed him from Manchester City.
Following his sale, Pep Guardiola‘s side appeared to have the upper hand due to the buyback clause included into his contract, however that clause does not become active until 2024.
With a move anticipated to take place within the next 12 months, if he moves elsewhere, the contract will be invalid and ineffective; nevertheless, a sell-on provision is inserted, which may see Arsenal or Chelsea financially help one of the main rivals.
Chelsea made the first major move in the Lavia battle earlier this month, opening talks with Southampton to sign the Belgium international, according to report.
The Gunners are yet to take that action, but Liverpool have when asking about the conditions over a deal, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Speaking on YouTube, he said: “Romeo Lavia is in Arsenal’s list and they have had some positive conversations on the club and player side, but no official bid as they are waiting to understand the future of Thomas Partey.
“But from what I understand, Liverpool have opened talks to sign Lavia. Man United have asked about the situation as have Chelsea, so both clubs are informed but they are not yet active on this deal, but for Liverpool, Lavia is one of the players they are considering.”
Anfield, like Arsenal and Chelsea, is due to undergo a major midfield overhaul, with the arrival of Alexis MacAllister from Brighton already completed.
Jurgen Klopp is also interested in Kone and Khephren Thuram of Nice, but big developments for Lavia could put those two transfers on hold.
With Declan Rice being Arsenal’s current priority and getting Moises Caicedo to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s primary objective, a transfer for Lavia seems unlikely to be completed until late in the window.
Perhaps sensing this, Liverpool have stepped up their efforts to gain an advantage over the two London teams, with their pursuit of Mason Mount now appearing to be ended as Manchester United continues to press hard for his signature.
The Blues rejected a third offer worth £55 million last week, and despite rumors that they would pull out of the deal if it was not accepted, the two clubs are still in contact.
Chelsea requested an in-person meeting to resolve the dispute after saying £65 million – £58 million up front and £8 million in add-ons – would be acceptable, but the conclusion is unknown.
If Manchester United pulls out of the deal, Caicedo will become their new top target, which may complicate matters.