Man City quickly disrupt Man Utd plan by preparing to use advantageous clause to replace Guardiola favourite

Jack Harrison and Romeo Lavia

Manchester City are ready to put a stop to any plans Man Utd may be making regarding the signing of a highly-rated midfielder, according to a report.

Midfield is an area that both Manchester rivals might be ready to invest in during the summer. In City’s case, they may require a replacement for Ilkay Gundogan. Indeed, the 32-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the season.

As for United, a recent poor performance from the usually impressive Casemiro in their heavy defeat to Liverpool has perhaps proven they need an additional player they can rely on in the middle.

With that in mind, the Daily Mail recently linked them with a surprise swoop for Southampton midfielder, Romeo Lavia. The 19-year-old has earned a few admirers after leaving City last summer.

If Southampton suffer relegation, Lavia might be able to step back up to the Premier League with another team. Chelsea are long-term admirers, for example, while Man Utd have seemingly joined the race.

But now, in a major turn of events, Football Insider is now reporting that Man City could make their own attempt to sign Lavia.

And it will be easier for them than any of his other suitors, since they inserted a buyback clause of £40million when selling him to Southampton in July.

Now, Football Insider has revealed that City might activate that clause in the summer. The theory is that Lavia could become the replacement for Gundogan if Pep Guardiola’s first signing moves on.

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Man City reconsidering Romeo Lavia decision

Lavia is under contract at St. Mary’s Stadium until 2027. For now, he is not thinking too much about his long-term future. Should Southampton drop into the Championship, though, he could have a decision to make.

Either side of a hamstring injury that kept him out over September and October, Lavia has accumulated 21 appearances in all competitions for Southampton this season. The defensive midfielder has one Premier League goal to his name from 16 games so far.

Averaging two tackles per game in the Premier League and 1.1 interceptions, he has quickly got up to speed at senior level.

It would certainly be interesting to see a U-turn from City so quickly. They would also have to pay a much larger sum than the one they received by selling Lavia.

There may also be some questions about the logic of him being a Gundogan replacement. After all, the German is a slightly more attacking option in their engine room.

As defensive midfielders, City already have Rodri, Kalvin Phillips and Maximo Perrone to work with. Still, they are hoping to equip themselves with as many talents for the future as possible.

Perhaps already regretting their decision to let Lavia go, the reigning Premier League champions may yet be able to lure him back to the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, City boss Guardiola is preparing to make a huge swoop for an £80m star also on Arsenal’s transfer radar and rated one of the best in the world in his position.