Premier League • England

Arsenal ‘advancing’ in negotiations for £40m Chelsea, Man Utd target; deal will leave Guardiola fuming

Romeo Lavia next to an arsenal badge

Arsenal are ‘advancing in talks’ to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia this summer, amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester United. 

Mikel Arteta’s priority is still to sign Declan Rice, but the manager could look to bring in two midfielders ahead of next season.

Lavia is tipped to become a top player in the future. So, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal win the race for his signature.

The Gunners could actually lose two of their own midfielders in the near future. Indeed, as reported by TEAMtalk, Thomas Partey has been deemed surplus to requirements by Arteta.

Now, several Saudi clubs are circling for the Ghana international, with Arsenal demanding a fee in the region of £40m.

Also, Albert Sambi Lokonga is expected to go out on another loan spell. Therefore, Arteta will have to bring in replacements for them.

As mentioned, Declan Rice remains the manager’s primary transfer target. Arsenal have already seen a £80m bid turned down by West Ham, but will respond with an improved offer in the very near future.

So, negotiations over signing Rice continue behind the scenes. But, they have also ramped up their interest in Lavia, who looks set to leave Southampton just one year after joining them from Manchester City.

Arsenal transfers: Fabrizio Romano reveals Gunners star will meet Edu ‘in days’ to discuss big summer move

Arsenal talks ‘ongoing’ with Southampton

According to transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are pushing hard to sign Lavia this summer.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Understand Arsenal are advancing in talks to sign Roméo Lavia.

“Negotiations ongoing with Southampton and player’s camp, still no official bid.”

Previous reports suggest that the Saints will demand a fee in the region of £40m for them 19-year-old.

This would be a record sale for a Southampton player under the age of 21. Which is interesting, given Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott left St Mary’s when they were 17 and 16 years old respectively.

Indeed, if Lavia reaches the heights that Bale and Walcott did after leaving Southampton, he will be worth every penny.

Last season, the youngster made 29 Premier League appearances, scoring one goal in the process.

Operating generally from the defensive midfield position, his best attributes are at breaking up opposition attacks, as well as his passing range.

His performances and sky-high potential have caught the attention of Chelsea and Manchester United. But, it’s Arsenal who are leading the race to sign him.

Man City tipped to lose ‘control’ of Lavia

Interestingly, Arsenal signing Lavia would have negative ramifications for Man City.

Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the youngster despite selling him last summer. And, there have been rumours that the Cityzens could trigger a £40m buy-back clause in his Southampton contract.

However, this only becomes active in 2024. So, Man City are powerless to stop Arsenal signing Lavia before then.

If that happens, Man City will reportedly lose the power to re-sign the midfielder.

This was confirmed by Romano, who added:” One key point on Roméo Lavia: in case he joins new club this summer, Man City £40m buy back clause would no longer be valid in 2024.

“City would lose their ‘control’ on the player, only valid until he’s at Southampton. Man City have percentage on sell-on clause for future.”

Therefore, if Arsenal want to sign Lavia, it is imperative that they get the deal done as soon as possible.

As it stands, everything points towards the Southampton star joining the Gunners this summer.

READ MORE: Arsenal transfers: Edu submits second offer to halve gap to top target who’ll force Chelsea exit