Arsenal’s record Declan Rice bid could aid Liverpool with Romeo Lavia ‘offer’

With Arsenal channelling their funds into an English record bid for Declan Rice, Liverpool could be allowed a free run at midfield target Romeo Lavia.

Arsenal‘s pursuit of West Ham captain Rice stepped up a notch on Tuesday night, with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reporting a nine-figure offer.

The north London club have bid an initial £100 million for the 24-year-old, with a further £5 million in add-ons, as they prepare to make him the most expensive English player in history.

It is a statement of their intent, and comes amid further moves for Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz.

Those moves could bring their total outlay to £200 million and likely close their spending for the summer – which may, if reports are to be believed, boost Liverpool.

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)

Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri has told The Redmen TV that “everyone is confident” that the Reds will make a bid for Southampton midfielder Lavia.

“Liverpool can be really quick because they don’t have a lot of things to do,” he claimed.

“They said they will make an offer, everyone is confident that it will be the case, if it’s not this week, it will be next week.”

This comes after earlier claims over contact between Liverpool and Southampton over a potential deal, with Lavia valued at around £50 million.

With Rice expected to join the Gunners – with The Athletic reporting that Man City have pulled out of the running – that could allow a free run at the Belgian.

Chelsea are another club claimed to hold an interest in Lavia, but their focus has turned to Brighton‘s Moises Caicedo.

2K6GAKY 08 Oct 2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Amex Stadium Brighton's Moises Caicedo during the Premier League match at the Amex Stadium. Picture : Mark Pain / Alamy Live News

Journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Chelsea are “set to open talks” over a deal for Caicedo within the next 48 hours, though negotiations with Brighton are “never easy or fast.”

Man City were also credited as suitors for a player they sold to Southampton only last summer, but a return to the Etihad has been downplayed.

That could, in theory, make Liverpool the front-runners for any deal for Lavia, who is not at the U21 Euros this summer after injury ruled him out for Belgium.

Whether Tavolieri’s claim holds up remains to be seen, though sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has been working in the background when it comes to various potential deals for midfielders.

For supporters, though, the overriding concern could be that Arsenal, on the back of a title challenge with Man City, are readily spending £200 million on three first-choice starters while Liverpool are still weighing up their options.