Arsenal are keen on Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia

Arsenal are keen on Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia

Arsenal seem to be leading the race to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia after he reportedly gave his verbal agreement to join them.

The Gunners have surpassed competition from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and others in pursuit of the 19-year-old midfielder, following fresh discussions with the player's representatives.

Lavia, a Belgium international, is expected to depart Southampton this summer following their relegation, and a transfer fee in the region of £50million should be sufficient to finalise the deal.

While Chelsea had been frontrunners for a considerable period, they have currently put their interest on hold as they focus on other signings.

Manchester City also expressed interest, but they are undecided on making an immediate move, given their active buy-back clause set for summer 2024.

Manchester United and Liverpool, once keen on Lavia, have shifted their attention to alternative targets, leaving Arsenal in a strong position to secure an agreement with Southampton.

It is anticipated that the Gunners will formally approach Lavia next month, prioritising the potential club-record signing of Declan Rice.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly a big admirer of the talented Southampton teenager and has urged the board to do everything possible to bring him to the club this summer.

Lavia, who earned his first senior cap for Belgium in March, featured in 35 matches across all competitions for Southampton in the 2022-23 season, contributing one goal and one assist.