Premier League • England

Arsenal achieve ‘verbal agreement’ to sign midfielder Arteta absolutely loves in £50m July deal

Romeo Lavia

Arsenal have made a major breakthrough with their pursuit of Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, according to the latest report.

The top midfield target Arsenal are currently focusing on is West Ham captain Declan Rice. However, he has also become of interest to Manchester City, so they are having to keep their options open.

Besides, Arsenal might get rid of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey this summer. Both were regular starters in defensive midfield this season, so would need to be adequately replaced by two new arrivals.

In addition to Rice, Lavia is one of Arsenal’s main targets to reinforce their midfield. He impressed after joining Southampton from Man City, but was ultimately part of a squad that suffered relegation.

Southampton may now have to let go of some of their better players and Lavia is one they could cash in on. Other than Arsenal, he has been linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd, while Man City have a buyback clause active next year.

But Arsenal are now in ‘pole position’ for Lavia, according to Football Insider, which claims the 19-year-old has ‘verbally agreed’ to join them after their latest talks with his entourage.

Now, Arsenal will have to prepare a bid that will convince Southampton to sell Lavia. The asking price is believed to be in the region of £50m.

Arsenal to make official offer for Lavia next month

The report claims Arsenal will wait until July to make their official move to Southampton for Lavia, since they are still focusing on Rice for now.

Nevertheless, Mikel Arteta is said to be a ‘huge fan’ of Lavia and wants the Arsenal board to ‘do all they can’ to complete his signing this summer.

At £50m, Lavia would enter the list of Arsenal’s top five most expensive signings of all time – still taking into account the fact that Rice would be a record-breaking arrival if he was to join.

However, reports have indicated that the West Ham man might prefer to join Lavia’s former club, Man City. Arsenal would have to react accordingly if they were to miss out on their main midfield objective.

Lavia is next on their wish list and they should be more optimistic about bringing him in, despite there also being plenty of competition in his case. Who they would turn to after that remains to be seen.

Southampton gave Lavia 29 Premier League appearances in his debut season with the club. Thanks to his form, he earned his senior international debut for Belgium in March.

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