Premier League • England

Arsenal readying shock Liverpool transfer hijack, with double exit to help complete dream Arteta window

Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia

Two Arsenal exits will help tee up a second midfield arrival following Declan Rice, and a key Liverpool target is soaring to the top of Mikel Arteta’s shortlist, per reports.

Arsenal have splashed the cash in a big way this summer, with Kai Havertz the first to arrive for £65m. Deals have also been agreed for Jurrien Timber (£38.5m) and Declan Rice (£105m). Despite delays in announcing their arrivals, Fabrizio Romano insisted there is no cause for concern.

Given the fact Arsenal have already committed to over £200m in transfer fees, any further arrivals will have to be funded by player exits.

That’s according to the Daily express who state ‘sales would be necessary’ to go again. But according to the report, Arsenal do fully intend to make another signing.

Explaining where, the Express claimed a second midfielder on top of Declan Rice is wanted. Per the newspaper, Southampton’s Romeo Lavia is now ‘high on their shortlist’.

The 19-year-old is hot property on the back of a breakthrough campaign with the Saints. Lavia couldn’t prevent Southampton from suffering relegation to the Championship, but he’s now in line for an immediate return to the top flight with another club.

The Athletic’s Jacob Tanswell and Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg both suggested Liverpool are favourites to sign the holding midfielder. Elsewhere, Chelsea maintain an interest, though their attention is currently with Moises Caicedo.

Liverpool are understood to be willing to bid up to £40m for Lavia whose arrival may assume greater significance if Jordan Henderson is lured to Saudi Arabia. However, per the Express, it’s Arsenal who could spring a surprise.

Two out, Lavia in?

To help Arteta land Lavia and complete his dream summer window, a pair of exits to free up the full fee for Lavia are required.

To that end, it’s claimed striker Folarin Balogun is ‘expected to headline the departures’. The striker burst onto the scene last season while loaned to French club Reims, notching 21 goals to finish joint-fourth in the top scorers chart.

But with Havertz added to the striking options that already contains Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, Balogun has no place back at the Emirates.

The Telegraph claimed Arsenal value Balogun at £50m, though suggested a sizeable compromise would be required on that front.

Elsewhere, the Evening Standard add their take to the situation, claiming midfield Thomas Partey is ‘more likely than not to leave this summer’.

Partey was among Arsenal’s top performers for two thirds of the campaign last year. His levels dropped down the stretch, though he remained a regular starter nonetheless.

However, despite Granit Xhaka already departing for Bayer Leverkusen, Partey too is in line to leave.

Offers in the form of instalments worth around €40m have been touted from Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere, Juventus and even Man Utd have drawn links, though a move within Europe would likely come with a smaller transfer fee attached.

In any case, sales are required before Arsenal can complete further arrivals and if they are to snatch Lavia from Liverpool’s grasp, Partey and Balogun could depart.

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