Romeo Lavia has emerged as a target for Chelsea (Picture: Getty Images)
Talks have begun between Chelsea and Southampton over a move for midfielder Romeo Lavia, according to reports.
The 19-year-old only signed for the Saints last summer from Manchester City, penning a five-year contract, but after Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League it may be a swift exit from St Mary’s.
Football.London report that Chelsea have opened negotiations with Southampton over a deal, however, those discussions may not be straight forward with the relegated club expecting a lot of money for the teenager.
The Belgium international is one of their most valuable assets so they want to make sure they maximise their profit when he inevitably leaves and reportedly are demanding as much as £50m for him.
This is partly because there are clauses in his contract signed after moving from Manchester City, including that his former club will receive 25 per cent of any sell-on fee.
The Premier League champions reportedly also have a buy-back clause of £40m for Lavia, although there is no suggestion they are preparing to pay that this summer.
The likes of James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters and Tino Livramento are all likely to attract bids from Premier League clubs after Southampton were relegated, but the Saints are pushing for big prices for all of them.
With the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa interested in Ward-Prowse, the south coast club are also hoping for £50m for the England international.
Chelsea see Lavia as part of a midfield revamp, which could also include Brighton’s Moises Caicedo who is expected to leave the Seagulls this summer, but will cost any interested party over £70m.
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The Blues are planning another summer of spending.