Arsenal and Chelsea could have the advantage over Manchester City in the race for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, thanks to Manchester City themselves.
Lavia made the Etihad Stadium his new home in the summer of 2020, after signing his first professional contract with Manchester City following a move from RSC Anderlecht at the age of just 16.
After starting to train with Pep Guardiola’s first-team in the summer of 2021, and making his full senior debut at 17 years-old against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup third round, the temptation of immediate first-team football with Southampton was too good to turn down.
Joining the Saints in a deal understood to be in the region of £12 million last summer, Lavia has gone from strength to strength on the south coast and is already attracting interest for another big move in the coming months.
However, while City hold a number of key clauses – that were embedded into the deal that took him to St. Mary’s in the first place, one key term will not be valid this summer, and could perhaps hand other clubs an advantage.
That is according to a fresh update from Fabrizio Romano into the situation surrounding Romeo Lavia this summer, who states that while Manchester City do of course hold a release clause on the Belgian star – understood to be set in the region of £40 million – that is not active this summer.
With City’s favourable clause not coming into action until the summer of 2024, a number of potential rival suitors from within the Premier League could have the upper hand in the pursuit for the player this summer.
Romano said on the situation, while speaking on his official YouTube channel, “Romeo Lavia is attracting very important interest, because he’s a top talented midfielder. Many clubs are following the situation.
“Let me say one thing; the buy-back clause for Manchester City is valid into the contract starting summer 2024. So, not now. This is the understanding. And so this is why Man City don’t have full control for Romeo Lavia this upcoming summer.”
Romano continued, “And so, other clubs are interested. Arsenal are keeping an eye on the player. Arsenal are following Romeo Lavia, but at the moment, there is still nothing advanced. Arsenal have many options.
So keep an eye on Romeo Lavia, because he will be one of the big names of the summer.”
City will look to strengthening their midfield this summer, as they also consider a number of potential high-profile departures in the coming months, including the possibility of Kalvin Phillips leaving the club less than 12 months after arriving from Leeds United.
The England international remains out of favour under Pep Guardiola despite signing for £42 million and being fully-fit at present, and could attract interest from the likes of West Ham and Leicester City this summer.