Man Utd ‘join Romeo Lavia transfer race’ with Liverpool in rush to close deal

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag doesn't think the Saudi league will effect players decision to come to the Premier League

Manchester United have reportedly joined the race to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia. The 19-year-old starred for the Saints in the Premier League last season after joining the club from Manchester City. But the Red Devils will face competition from Liverpool, who are desperately trying to close a deal after chasing the star all summer.

United enjoyed an upturn in fortunes last season after appointing Erik ten Hag as their manager and secured a return to the Champions League courtesy of a third-place Premier League finish.

Optimism is high ahead of the new campaign after the Red Devils snapped up Chelsea playmaker Mason Mount and Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana. A deal for Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund has also been agreed as Ten Hag looks to take his club to the next level. And now the Dutchman appears to have switched his attentions to his midfield.

According to the Daily Mail, United are now in the mix to sign Lavia but would have to sell first to net some cash. Midfield trio Scott McTominay, Fred and Donny van de Beek have all been linked with moves away from Old Trafford and could net the north west giants some valuable funds to go towards a Lavia purchase. But United also have their eye on Sofyan Amrabat and have reportedly put forward a £25million bid for the Fiorentina midfielder.

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Southampton are expecting a big week in the Lavia pursuit, with Liverpool and an unnamed foreign club also vying for his signature. The Merseysiders are armed with cash after sanctioning moves to Saudi Arabia for Jordan Henderson and Fabinho and will now step in to make an improved bid for Lavia in an attempt to get a transfer over the line. And Chelsea have also maintained contact with the Saints, which means the transfer battle could be set to intensify in the coming days.

Lavia put pen-to-paper on a deal with Southampton last July after the Hampshire club shelled out an initial £10.5m to sign him from the Citizens. The teenager only made two first-team appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side but went on to impress during 34 appearances for the Saints last term.

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Despite the player’s excellent form, Southampton were relegated to the Championship after winning just six of their Premier League matches.

The Saints are said to be holding out for £50m in exchange for Lavia – but they will have to pay 20 per cent of the transfer figure to the Citizens because of a sell-on clause in the player’s contract.

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