Chelsea are reportedly ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal in the race to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia.
Lavia, 19, has emerged as one of the best defensive midfield prospects in Europe this season. Since joining Southampton from Manchester City for an initial fee of £10.5 million last summer, he has cemented his spot as a surprise first-team starter for the Ruben Selles-coached outfit.
A tenacious presence in the heart of midfield, Lavia shot to fame after producing a stellar performance in his team's 2-1 win against the Blues last August. His long-range strike in the first half of the contest made him the first star born in 2004 to score a goal in the Premier League. Lavia has featured in 19 Premier League games in his career.
According to Football Insider, Chelsea are currently working to formulate a deal to lure Lavia away from Southampton in the upcoming summer transfer window. The midfielder is believed to be high up on the Blues' list of transfer targets due to his suitable ball-winning profile.
Lavia, who has a contract until June 2027 at St. Mary's Stadium, has also attracted transfer interest from Arsenal and Manchester United. Manchester City are also interested in re-signing their youth product.
The Cityzens have a £40 million buy-back clause for the Belgian star but they can only activate it in the summer of 2024. Hence, Pep Guardiola's side are currently not in pole position to rope in Lavia.
Should Lavia join Chelsea in the near future, he would provide reliable competition for places in the center of the park. He would prove to be an effective stand-in for the aging N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United are also keen to add the holding midfielder to their ranks ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 campaign.
Arsenal unlikely to sign star due to Chelsea and Manchester United-linked ace's current transfer situation, says Gianluca Di Marzio
Speaking to Kelbet, famed journalist Gianluca Di Marzio stated that Arsenal would fail to snap up Khvicha Kvaratskhelia as Napoli would instead prefer to cash in on Victor Osimhen this summer.
Di Marzio said:
"I don't think Kvaratskhelia can leave Napoli to go to Arsenal. He has only been there for one season and it is really unlikely that the club will sell him now. Napoli must absolutely keep him for at least another season. If they offload Osimhen for £132 million, they will be more than happy. Then, they don't need to sell Kvaratskhelia."
Kvaratskhelia, 22, has popped up on Arsenal's radar due to his electric outings for Napoli this season, registering 30 goals and assists so far.
Osimhen, on the other hand, has emerged as a hot topic of speculation due to his stellar form this term. Chelsea, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are currently keeping tabs on the 24-year-old ace.