Arsenal close in on signing as Man Utd, Man City target ‘agrees’ to join ahead of ‘official approach’

Joe Williams
Arsenal transfer target Romeo Lavia

Premier League side Arsenal are inching closer to getting a deal for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia over the line, according to reports.

Lavia could available for a reasonable fee after Southampton were relegated to the Championship at the end of the season just gone.

West Ham’s Declan Rice has also been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium with reports claiming Mikel Arteta is hoping to sign at least two new midfielders this summer.

The Daily Telegraph‘s Sam Dean claimed yesterday that Lavia was not currently “one to watch” with no sign Arsenal “are going to sign [him] imminently”.

“Obviously there’s a lot of really good journalists doing a lot of really, really good work,” Dean told the Kanu Believe It Podcast. “And no part of me at all is, is trying to sort of say they’re wrong because it’s not my place to do so.

“All I can say in Lavia is that I personally have had no information to suggest he’s one that Arsenal are going to sign imminently.

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“My information is that that’s currently not one to watch at this point.”

But transfer expert Fabrizio Romano said on Tuesday that Arsenal “are advancing in talks to sign” the Southampton midfielder.

Romano wrote on Twitter: “Understand Arsenal are advancing in talks to sign Romeo Lavia. Negotiations ongoing with Southampton and player’s camp, still no official bid #AFC Southampton want ‘record fee’ for Roméo. Man Utd remain interested but priority is Mount; Chelsea, keeping close eye.”

He added: “One key point on Roméo Lavia: in case he joins new club this summer, Man City £40m buy back clause would no longer be valid in 2024. City would lose their ‘control’ on the player, only valid until he’s at Southampton. Man City have percentage on sell-on clause for future.”

And now Football Insider claims that Arsenal ‘are in pole position’ to sign Lavia ‘after he verbally agreed to sign for them’ and have ‘have jumped ahead of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United and others in the race for the midfielder following new talks with the player’s camp’.

It is understood it will take a fee of around £50m to get a deal over the line and, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool concentrating on other targets, it leaves ‘Arsenal in a very strong position to agree a deal with Southampton’.