Chelsea have reportedly submitted a £48m bid for Liverpool transfer target Romeo Lavia, acting as a potentially huge blow for the Reds.
The Southampton midfielder enjoyed a breakout 2022/23 season, performing impressively for a Saints team who were ultimately sent packing from the Premier League and relegated to the Championship.
Since then, Lavia has arguably emerged as Liverpool’s first-choice midfielder to come in and fill the No.6 role vacated by Fabinho, who has left for Saudi Arabia.
The Merseysiders have already had three offers for the 19-year-old rejected – the most recent was believed to be around £45m – with Southampton looking to hold out for the £50m they are demanding for his services.
“Southampton have tonight received offer from Chelsea for Romeo Lavia. CFC proposal £48m inc adds. Closest anyone has come to Saints FC £50m valuation to date. 19yo subject to multiple rejected bids from Liverpool. Dialogue continues.”
Our thoughts on the latest on Lavia’s future…
For Liverpool to miss out on Lavia to Chelsea now would be a disaster, considering they have spent the summer trying to snap him up, identifying him as a primary target.
It has already taken the Reds long enough to get a deal over the line – the fact they have no natural defensive midfielder in the squad just before the start of the season is frankly unacceptable – and for them to now see a rival swoop in would be hard to take.
The hope is that Chelsea’s approach simply speeds Liverpool up and acts as a huge warning sign, however, with a £50m bid hopefully arriving very soon.
It could also be that the Blues want to fire a threat to Brighton, showing that there are alternatives out there to Moises Caicedo, and that they should consider accepting an offer for the Ecuadorian rather than keep hold of a player who wants to leave.
It is essential that Lavia becomes a Reds player this summer, with an extra midfielder and a left-sided centre-back also needing to come in.
Failure to address this could end up being fatal to Jurgen Klopp’s side’s top-four chances in the Premier League in 2023/24, let alone their hopes of mounting a title challenge.