Chelsea have completed the signing of Belgian midfielder Romeo Lavia from Southampton, successfully hijacking Liverpool’s move for the player.
Liverpool made three bids worth £37million, £41m and £45m for Lavia but did not match Southampton’s £50m asking price. The Reds then turned to Moises Caicedo of Brighton and launched a stunning £110m offer, which would have smashed their transfer record.
However, Caicedo only wanted to sign for Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino’s team soon announced his arrival in a £115m deal. And they have also managed to ruin Liverpool’s hopes of snaring Lavia.
There had been rumours about Liverpool agreeing a £60m fee of their own for Lavia, but questions marks soon began to arise over that agreement. On Monday, it emerged that the Saints star had opted to sign for Chelsea over Liverpool, with the move now having reached completion.
Chelsea have announced his signing at Stamford Bridge on a seven-year contract. As per various sources including ESPN and Sky Sports, Chelsea will pay Southampton £58m for Lavia. He will wear the No.45 shirt.
In his first interview as a Blues player, Lavia said: “I’m really happy join Chelsea and be a part of this exciting project. It’s an amazing football club with a great history and I’m really excited to get started.
“I can’t wait to meet all my new team-mates and build a chemistry together to achieve great things together.”
Lavia went on to give three reasons for him joining Chelsea over Liverpool. “Three factors determined my decision. The project and the ambitions of the club were key factors in me choosing Chelsea, but also the history behind the club. It’s really exciting to be a part of this football club and to write some history,” he added.
‘A privilege’ to join Chelsea – Romeo Lavia
“I’m really happy and proud. It’s a privilege to be able to put on this shirt. Most of the players we’ve signed are players I’ve played against, and thought ‘ooooof, these players are good’, so to be able to work with them is a great feeling.
“They are young players and good players, so it will be good to make each other better. That’s the only way to succeed.”
Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: “We are very pleased to welcome Romeo to Chelsea. He demonstrated his quality in the Premier League last season at Southampton, showing maturity despite his young age, and is a player we have monitored for some time.
“We believe he is ready to make an impact at Chelsea throughout the current campaign, and in the coming years.”