Arsenal and Chelsea join the race for former Man City midfielder touted to become a future star

Wilfred Ndidi battling Romeo Lavia

Arsenal and Chelsea are strongly considering making a move to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia this summer, according to reports. 

The 19-year-old has been a regular feature in the Saints’ starting XI this season, after joining the club from Manchester City at the start of the campaign.

Both Mikel Arteta and Graham Potter seem to have put a focus on signing young players with high potential recently, so it’s no surprise to see the London rivals vying for Lavia’s signature.

As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Chelsea are looking to add at least two midfielders to their squad this summer, recently being linked with Lavia, along with Everton talent Amadou Onana. 

However, with Premier League leaders Arsenal now in the race, Edu and co may yet scupper their plans.

This is according to Football Insider, who have confirmed that both clubs are heavily interested in signing Lavia in the coming months.

They add that Southampton could demand a fee in the region of £45m for the midfielder and could be forced into selling him if they are relegated to the Championship.

Indeed, with the Saints currently rock-bottom of the Premier League table after picking up just 23 points from 28 matches so far, that fear may well become a reality.

READ MORE: Arsenal now leading the race for £62m winger targeted by Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain

Four PL clubs interested in Lavia

So far this season, Lavia has made 18 Premier League appearances for Southampton, scoring one goal – against Chelsea – in the process.

Operating generally from a defensive midfield position, the Belgian’s best attributes are in breaking up opposition attacks, making an average of 1.9 successful tackles and 1 interception per game.

Lavia is also confident with the ball at his feet, with a pass success rate of 86.7%.

It’s also worth remembering that this is the former Manchester City man’s first season playing regular first-team football, playing in a side that is struggling massively for form.

With that in mind, Lavia looks set to get even better and would most likely shine if given an opportunity with a stronger side.

While, as mentioned, Arsenal and Chelsea hold a concrete interest in the Saints midfielder, Man City are thought to have a £40m buy-back clause in his current contract, so Pep Guardiola could easily bring him back to the Etihad if he wanted to.

Along with City, Manchester United have also previously registered an interest in signing Lavia, so there could be as many as four Premier League clubs pushing to sign him this summer.

However, with Lavia’s contract at St. Mary’s valid until 2027, Southampton wouldn’t be under any immediate pressure to sell if they somehow survive relegation.

As a result, it seems that the youngster’s immediate future hinges upon the Saints’ Premier League status.

READ MORE: Graham Potter willing to sell senior Chelsea star with Tottenham poised to seize opportunity