Romeo Lavia Southampton 2022-23Getty

Man Utd join Arsenal & Chelsea in transfer race for Romeo Lavia as Man City sweat on £40m buy-back option

  • Belgian starlet moved to St Mary's in 2022
  • Option to head back to the Etihad
  • Interest building as Saints struggle

WHAT HAPPENED? The 19-year-old midfielder is a product of Manchester City’s academy system and only bid farewell to the reigning Premier League champions in 2022. The Belgium U21 international’s progress has been rapid since then, with 20 appearances taken in for the Saints this season.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: City have a buy-back option in the deal that took Lavia to St Mary’s, but that £40 million ($48m) clause can only be triggered in 2024. That is leaving the door open for rival suitors to swoop in, with the Daily Mail reporting that United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all keen on the highly-rated holding midfielder.

AND WHAT'S MORE: United are also being linked with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong, while Chelsea and Arsenal are admirers of Declan Rice, but Lavia could prove to be a cheaper option for all concerned – while any deal this summer would keep him out of City’s clutches.

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Romeo Lavia Southampton 2022-23Getty

Romeo Lavia Southampton 2022-23Getty

WHAT NEXT? Lavia penned a five-year contract when joining Southampton for £14m ($17m), but it is starting to look highly unlikely – with the Saints sat bottom of the Premier League table and facing up to the threat of relegation – that he will see out that agreement on the south coast.