Chelsea are ready to reignite their interest in Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia this month, 90min understands.
Lavia joined Southampton from Manchester City in July but was the subject of serious interest from Chelsea later in the same transfer window, with the Blues seeing a late bid for the 19-year-old Belgian rejected.
Since then, Chelsea have frustrated Southampton with their acquisition of recruitment chief Joe Shields. Expected to start as the Blues’ co-director of recruitment and talent at the end of the month, Shields was part of the City team that initially signed Lavia in 2020 before bringing him to St Mary’s last summer.
Even outside of Shields, Chelsea’s new transfer team are huge fans of Lavia and sources have confirmed to 90min that a January bid is under consideration.
As was their stance in the summer, Southampton are determined to keep hold of Lavia and are reluctant to do business with Chelsea because of their pursuit of Shields – although the Saints are expected to listen to offers if the price is right.
It’s understood that as much a £50m may be needed to convince Southampton to part ways with Lavia, as they plan their own January spending spree in a bid to stave off relegation.
Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. This week they discuss Man Utd’s interest in Mohammed Kudus, Enzo Fernandez and Chelsea, Jude Bellingham’s decision and Mykhaylo Mudryk’s preferred move. Available on all audio platforms.
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Southampton currently sit bottom of the Premier League table after 18 games and are keen to spend big to bolster Nathan Jones’ struggling squad. Mislav Orsic has already arrived from Dinamo Zagreb, while a deal is in place for exciting young Racing midfielder Carlos Alcaraz – he’s due to jet in for a medical after a fee was agreed.
Cashing in on Lavia would be a sure-fire way for Southampton to finance their plans, though they are yet to see the best of the 19-year-old. His first six months at the club have been hampered by a hamstring injury picked up in August’s 2-1 win over Chelsea – a game he scored a glorious goal in before limping off around the hour mark.
The injury came in his fifth appearance for Southampton and Lavia has gone on to make a further four since his return, tasting defeat in all four as the Saints have slipped further into relegation trouble.