Chelsea ‘open talks’ with £40m midfielder Guardiola loves as Pochettino eyes first statement signing

Romeo Lavia, James Maddison August 2022 Credit: Alamy
Romeo Lavia, James Maddison August 2022 Credit: Alamy

Chelsea have reportedly ‘opened talks’ with Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, as Mauricio Pochettino eyes his first summer signing. 

The 19-year-old joined the Saints from Manchester City at the beginning of last season. Despite his team getting relegated, he put in some admirable performances.

As a result, Lavia has caught the attention of several Premier League teams. So, Chelsea face competition for the defensive midfielder.

It has been an incredibly disappointing season for the Blues. After going through three different managers, they finished in 12th place in the table – their worst finish since 1994.

Pochettino is expected to make several signings ahead of next season. But, one of the key areas he will be focusing on is midfield.

This is because Mateo Kovacic is ‘close’ to finalising a move to Man City and everything is pointing towards Mason Mount joining Manchester United.

Also, the Blues have just lost N’Golo Kante to Saudi club Al Ittihad. Therefore, there is a major void in Pochettino’s squad that he needs to fill as soon as possible.

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Chelsea ‘open talks’ with Lavia

Now, according to Football.LondonChelsea have ‘opened talks’ over a deal to sign Lavia.

Interestingly, the Southampton youngster has a buy-back clause worth £40m with Man City, but this will only come into effect next season. So, Chelsea will have to move quickly if they want to get their man.

Lavia made 24 Premier League appearances for the Saints in 2022/23, scoring one goal in the process. And, although they were relegated, he was one of the few positives of their season.

Pep Guardiola has always been a big fan of Lavia. So, the manager would be disappointed to see him join Chelsea before their buy-back clause comes into effect.

In a recent interview, Guardiola said: “I am really impressed with what Romeo has done and is doing.

“We had, and we have, an incredible opinion about him. We wanted to keep him, but maybe he would not (get) enough minutes like he has in Southampton.”

But, with Chelsea ‘opening talks’ with the midfielder, they have now moved into pole position to sign him. Although, they will still have to pay at least £40m to bring him in.

Although, Lavia isn’t the only midfielder the Blues are being linked with. Brighton star Moises Caicedo has been on their radar for some time, so, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them bid for him this summer.

They do, however, face competition from Arsenal. So, as it stands, Lavia is more likely to be Pochettino’s first signing.

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