MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2023: Southampton's Roméo Lavia during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool “admirers” of Romeo Lavia – Chelsea already had £50m bid rejected

With Belgian midfielder Romeo Lavia expected to leave Southampton following their relegation, Liverpool have emerged as “admirers.”

Lavia is one of few Southampton players to come away from their dismal season with any credit, having impressed in midfield since his arrival from Man City.

The 19-year-old, a dominant defensive midfielder, has made 33 appearances for the south-coast club this campaign, starting 28 of those, and is attracting heavyweight interest.

According to GOAL‘s Neil Jones, Liverpool are among the teenager’s “admirers,” along with both Chelsea and even Man City.

The Reds are said to be “aware of Lavia’s progress,” and though Alexis Mac Allister and Mason Mount remain primary targets, “there are plenty at Anfield who believe [he] is a player who could make a difference.”

It is not the first time Liverpool have been touted with an interest in Lavia, of course.

Earlier this month, Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri told The Redmen TV that Klopp “loves” the midfielder and that Liverpool are the “closest club” to signing him.

“For the moment, [there are] no offers from Liverpool. That’s a certainty,” Tavolieri explained.

“But [their] project is the one which is most convincing to Lavia – and that’s why I think it will be Liverpool.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite this, there are a number of factors in the way of Lavia making his move to Anfield, not least the projected price tag at St Mary’s.

Chelsea presented Southampton with a bizarre bid worth around £50 million at the end of the summer transfer window – just two months after his switch from Man City – which was promptly rejected.

That, even with the club’s relegation, would almost certainly be used as a benchmark in negotiations with interested parties this summer.

Meanwhile, Man City hold a buy-back clause following their sale of Lavia in July, with the deal – worth an initial £10.5 million rising to £14 million – allowing them to re-sign him for £40 million.

This clause only comes into effect in 2024, but the valuation is likely to remain high as the Belgium international still has four years on his contract.