Chelsea ‘accelerate’ talks for top target after £50m bid to move ahead of Liverpool

Will Ford
Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia celebrates his goal

Chelsea have reportedly ‘accelerated’ talks over a move for top midfield target Romeo Lavia.

The 19-year-old only moved to Southampton from Manchester City in the summer for around £11m and could already be on his way out of St Mary’s after his impressive displays this season.

Indeed, he could actually have moved to Chelsea immediately after joining the Saints, who turned down a deadline day bid of £50m from the free-spending Blues for the teenager.

Liverpool have since reportedly stated their interest in Lavia, who has just earned his first call-up to the Belgium national team, but the ‘intense pressing’ is coming from Chelsea according to Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri.

Tavolieri tweeted: ‘Selected for the 1st time by Domenico #Tedesco , Roméo Lavia is the subject of intense pressing by #ChelseaFC . As we reported to you in December, #CFC wants to accelerate and this week met the entourage of #DiablesRouges in Belgium. #mercato’

Southampton teammate Theo Walcott has been mightily impressed with Lavia, insisting he plays like a far more experienced campaigner.

Walcott told talkSPORT in January: “It’s like he’s played over 200 games in the Premier League, that’s how much I rate him.

“You probably know that watching us, ‘he should make that run or make that pass’, it’s not as straightforward as that. But when I watch him, I’m like, ‘you look way above your age right now’.”

Paul Scholes, who knows a thing or two about playing in central midfield, revealed his admiration for Lavia earlier in the season.

“I was surprised when City let him go I think he is good enough potentially, he is only 18-years-old maybe hold him back a bit.

“He has chosen to move on and I think he is a player with so much potential and he could potentially go back, but he has settled in so well.

“He has got a pass in his locker and he is big and strong and likes to defend. He does not want to get forward too much and sits in-front of the back four and sets the play in motion from there.”

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