Chelsea could make a “last minute” move to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia ahead of Liverpool, according to Sacha Tavolieri.
The Belgian journalist has been accurate with his reporting on Lavia’s situation up until now and, while he claims that Liverpool are still the favourites to secure the player’s signature, he feels Chelsea could still intensify their efforts to hijack the transfer “in the coming hours”:
🇧🇪 Despite #ChelseaFC (and now « famous » Joe Shields) last minute pressing that we anticipated already yesterday & that will be even more intensive in the coming hours due to Caicedo’s case (who remains the priority), #LiverpoolFC continued to advance on Romeo Lavia with… pic.twitter.com/ujslNANWXB
— Sacha Tavolieri (@sachatavolieri) July 27, 2023
As Tavolieri points out, co-Director of Recruitment and Talent Joe Shields is the person championing Lavia, having worked with him at both Manchester City and Southampton.
It is believed that he was the driving force behind Chelsea’s bold attempt to recruit the teenager last summer, barely a month after the player had made his switch to the south coast.
A cheaper alternative to Moise Caicedo?
With Brighton having rejected an £80m offer for Caicedo, the Blues now have a decision to make over whether to persist with negotiations to sign the Ecuadorian or move on to backup options.
Lavia would be cheaper, with Southampton demanding £50m, but he is a couple of years younger than Caicedo and lacks experience.
There are also question marks about whether Lavia would be the right player to line up alongside Enzo Fernandez in a midfield two. With the Saints, the Belgian international played as a lone six, which meant he was devoted to defensive duties. At Chelsea, he would be required to be a more offensive player, which isn’t really his strength. It will be interesting to see if Chelsea do decide to make a concerted effort to sign him instead of Caicedo.