Arsenal in talks to sign Romeo Lavia

Arsenal are reportedly advancing in talks to sign midfielder Romeo Lavia from Southampton. Fabrizio Romano claims that Arsenal are now the favourites to sign the player and add to their strength in midfield.

Lavia played 34 matches for Southampton last season and was the shining light in an otherwise horrible season for the Saints. He managed to become a regular starter for the club at just 19 years of age.

The Gunners have advanced in talks with the player’s camp and are working on finding an agreement on personal terms. There has not been any official bid submitted to Southampton yet.

The Saints are asking for a ‘record’ fee for Lavia. This basically means they have set an asking price close to £80 million. It is very difficult to see Arsenal paying that for Lavia this summer.

After Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League, the Belgian attracted a lot of interest from other clubs around the country as well. Chelsea and Man United were two of the clubs rumoured to be monitoring Lavia’s situation as well.

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But currently, Arsenal really only face competition from Man City for the teenager. Lavia was part of City’s youth academy and signed for Southampton only last year. City had attached a £40 million buy-back clause in his contract and will be able to activate that if they choose to.

City also will anyway receive a percentage of the transfer sum that Southampton receive if they sell Lavia to any other club. But City’s buy-back clause will not be valid anymore if he joins another club.

Some reports suggest that City could activate that clause this summer to avoid losing a very talented player. Southampton will definitely have to lower their asking price as they might end up losing the player for £40 million anyway if negotiations with Arsenal fall through.

Arsenal are currently also working on deals to sign Declan Rice and Kai Havertz. Both these players will most likely cost around £60-£70 million each. They also want to strengthen in other areas of the pitch.

It was also reported earlier that they are also interested in Ajax’s Jurien Timber, who would also cost around £55 million. The transfer budget could be a problem and it does look extremely unlikely that they will pay a record fee for Lavia.