Romeo Lavia is ready to snub interest from Chelsea and Liverpool in favour of joining Arsenal this summer if a deal can be agreed with Southampton, according to Football Transfers.
Lavia joined Southampton last summer from Manchester City and has emerged as one of the best young midfielders in the Premier League, featuring in 35 games and making two goal contributions last term.
The 19-year-old is expected to leave St Mary’s after Southampton were relegated to the Championship and his impressive form has attracted interest from the upper echelons of the Premier League.
Football Transfers says Chelsea and Liverpool are among the clubs showing a keen interest in signing Lavia this summer.
Chelsea are overhauling their squad and Mauricio Pochettino needs midfielders after offloading the likes of Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Mason Mount in recent weeks.
The Blues are reportedly keen on signing Moises Caicedo from Brighton but Pochettino is in the market for more than one central midfielder and the Argentine boss has his eyes on Lavia.
Liverpool are also revamping their midfield set-up and have already signed attacking midfielders Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai. Jurgen Klopp wants to now bring in a defensive midfielder and Lavia has been widely touted as his prime target.
However, Football Transfers says the Belgian youngster is ready to snub interest from Chelsea and Liverpool in favour of joining Arsenal. The Gunners are able to offer Champions League football while Lavia is also keen to play under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium.
The report says Arsenal chiefs have been in talks with Lavia representatives since April and the player is ready to join if a deal can be agreed with Southampton for his signature.
However, there are two major stumbling blocks preventing a move. Firstly, Football Transfers say Arsenal will only formalise their interest in Lavia if they can sell Thomas Partey. Secondly, the Gunners are not prepared to meet Southampton’s £50m asking price.
Partey has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia and Italy so Arsenal may be able to find a suitable buyer for the Ghanaian international, however, they may find it more difficult to get Southampton to lower their valuation.
With Chelsea and Liverpool also in the running, the Saints will want to create a bidding war between the three Premier League giants so they are unlikely to accept a lower fee unless Lavia threatens to force a move to Arsenal.