Chelsea have turned their attention to Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia over a transfer this summer, according to Felix Johnston.
After failing to secure Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte and losing out to PSG, Chelsea have decided to make a move for Belgian talent Lavia, who is rated very highly within the club by Director of Recruitment Joe Shields, who signed him in his time at Southampton.
Lavia has a buyback clause inserted into his contract with the relegated side which will allow Manchester City to sign him for £40m in 2024. Southampton are adamant that they must receive a fee higher than the value of the clause to sell the 19-year-old midfielder this summer.
Chelsea and the Saints are apart in their valuation of the teenage star, although the Blues are said to be willing to offer players to the Saints on loan or permanent deals to get the transfer done.
Chelsea transfer news: Romeo Lavia targeted as Ugarte alternative
Manchester City academy graduate Lavia needed only a few games to prove his quality at senior level, impressing in his first few matches with Southampton aged 18 and attracting the interest of Chelsea, who made a late bid in the summer of 2022.
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to want to add multiple midfielders to his squad as he prepares to lose Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount this summer. Signing Lavia takes moves the club closer to the goal of their manager, leaving them free to negotiate a deal for Moises Caicedo.
Lavia was one of the breakout stars of the Premier League in 2022-23, featuring 29 times for the Saints with an average WhoScored rating of 6.56. The 19-year-old is brilliant at playing under pressure and is able to sniff out danger quite well. Chelsea will look to seal a deal for him quickly this summer.