Chelsea have submitted a £48m offer for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia as they look to beat Liverpool to the teenage talent, with the Reds having had three bids turned down already by the Saints.
The two sides, who meet on Sunday in their opening Premier League game, are expected to battle it out for the Belgian in the coming hours, with Southampton holding firm on their £50m price tag despite widespread interest in the Belgian.
Lavia, who missed the Carabao Cup first round defeat on Tuesday amid transfer speculation, is expected to depart the club in the coming weeks and return to the Premier League, where he impressed in his debut season.
As per the Athletic, ‘dialogue is currently ongoing’ with Chelsea as they look to wrap a move for the former Manchester City academy star, with the Cityzens having a buyback clause set at £50m for next summer that they could choose to activate.
It could mean the end of Liverpool’s pursuit of Lavia too, with the report adding that ‘Southampton’s asking price, however, is seen by Liverpool as too high a figure for a player of Lavia’s experience’, and their most recent rejected offer only amounting to around £45m.
Both sides are in desperate need of a deep-lying midfielder ahead of the new season, with Fabinho having left Jurgen Klopp’s side to join Al-Ittihad while Chelsea have seen N’Golo Kante, Jorgingho, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all depart in 2023, and can currently only call upon Enzo Fernandez as a senior option.
It was understood that Lavia had agreed personal terms over a move to Liverpool, but should they not meet Southampton’s asking price, he may find himself heading to west London instead.