Chelsea have entered the race to sign Romeo Lavia from Southampton as the Blues battle Liverpool to his signature after impressing in the Premier League last season

Chelsea have launched a late bid to sign Romeo Lavia

Chelsea have launched a late bid to sign Romeo Lavia

Chelsea have submitted a last-ditch bid to sign Romeo Lavia as they try and hijack Liverpool’s move for the Southampton midfielder.

Lavia, 19, is one of the most sought-after players in Europe following an impressive debut season at Saints, despite their relegation to the Championship. Liverpool have already seen three offers - the highest of which was £46million - rejected by Southampton who value the Belgian at around £50m.

Saints are in no need to sell players at discounted prices and are standing firm on their valuation. Lavia was left out of Southampton’s squad to face Gillingham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, after being an unused substitute in the opening day win over Sheffield Wednesday last Friday.

And now, Chelsea have entered the race to sign Lavia. The Blues have lodged a bid of £48m including add-ons for the ex-Manchester City youngster, which is the closest anyone has come to Southampton’s valuation. Talks are set to continue between the two parties over a potential move.

Mauricio Pochettino is keen to add at least one central midfielder to his squad after losing Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount this summer. Chelsea have been chasing Moises Caicedo and made a breakthrough in negotiations on Wednesday night, with Brighton wanting £90m up front plus a further £10m to be made up in bonuses and expected clauses.

It is thought a move could be completed before Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Liverpool, although Caicedo did miss Brighton’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano due to a hamstring injury. Caicedo and Lavia would drastically bolster Chelsea’s current midfield department with Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka all starting in their final pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund.

Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia Romeo Lavia (


Matt Watson/Southampton FC)

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp’s men are not expected to give up on signing Lavia. The Reds could come in with a fourth offer for the Southampton ace as the Reds try and add another midfielder to their ranks following the departures of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita this summer.

Liverpool have made two signings in the form of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai but are expected to bring in a defensive-minded midfielder, with Lavia at the top of their shopping list. Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure is greatly admired by Klopp, while the club’s ongoing interest in Ryan Gravenberch is well documented.

Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is also on Liverpool’s shortlist, but despite his lack of prominence at the Etihad it is unclear if Pep Guardiola would countenance selling him to a direct rival. There is interest in Sofyan Amrabat, but it is believed Manchester United ‘s interest in the Moroccan international is more advanced.

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