Southampton should ‘hike price up’ for £50m star at St Mary’s

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton should ‘hike the price up’ for midfielder Romeo Lavia, who has attracted interest from Chelsea, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 18-year-old has made an impressive start to his Saints career despite only being at the club for a few months and is already catching the eye of Graham Potter’s charges.

What is the latest news involving Lavia?

Southampton paid Manchester City £12 million to secure Lavia’s signature, although the fee could rise to £15m with potential add-ons, and the reigning Premier League champions included a £40m buy-back clause into the deal.

However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed in the aftermath of the summer transfer window that Chelsea ‘wanted to sign’ the Belgium Under-21 international on deadline day despite him only arriving at St, Mary’s in July.

It’s claimed that the west London outfit had a £50m ‘verbal proposal’ rejected by Southampton who considered Lavia ‘untouchable’.

And the highly-rated teenager has shown why he is in such high demand during his first few games for his new employers, catching the eye alongside James Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park.

What has Jones said about Lavia?

Jones believes Southampton owners Sport Republic should take inspiration from Everton if Chelsea revive their interest in Lavia by quoting ‘silly numbers’ for him and seeing how much they are willing to pay to secure their target.

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In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “A £50 million offer is obviously a big deal. There’s no doubt that if you make an offer like that, then you’re going to retain interest going forward.

“If you’re Southampton at this point, you just hike the price up and put silly numbers out there, and if they want to sign him then fine, do what Everton did with Anthony Gordon and see what happens.”

How well has Lavia been playing?

Lavia has only made five appearances for Southampton due to a hamstring injury, but he has already made a big impression under the tutelage of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, leading to him being labelled “precocious”.

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Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

Can you guess where Sadio Mane began his footballing career?

As per FBref, the 5 foot 11 ace has made 2.77 interceptions, 6.38 successful pressures and 4.68 passes that enter the final third of the pitch per 90 minutes this season, placing him in the top five amongst his teammates for each metric.

The defensive-minded dynamo’s instant inclusion in the starting XI saw Oriol Romeu move onto pastures new, and Southampton will surely be hoping they can retain Lavia’s services for a little while longer.

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