Chelsea could hand Liverpool two blows in one day as they are reportedly nearing an agreement to sign Romeo Lavia.
The Southampton midfielder has been the subject of numerous unsuccessful bids from the Reds. He is valued at £50 million by the Saints and according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Chelsea have met that figure with their latest offer.
Liverpool’s best offer for Lavia came earlier this week in the form of £46 million — a figure which included add-ons. It was swiftly rejected by the Saints. Tavolieri does add that a last-minute bid from the Reds for the Belgium international cannot be ruled out. He is also apparently sold on a move to Anfield
Earlier today, reports emerged that Brighton & Hove Albion accepted the Reds’ British record offer of £110 million for Moises Caicedo. But since then, multiple sources have claimed that Caicedo has his heart set on moving to Chelsea.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Blues are preparing a new, improved offer for their long-term target playing on the south coast. Lavia (19) and Caicedo (21) are both defensive midfielders by trade — a position the Blues are looking to strengthen after N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic’s exits this summer.
It remains to be seen how Liverpool react to the news of both their midfield targets potentially heading to west London. They are yet to sign a new midfielder after the surprise exits of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho last month.
Mauricio Pochettino addresses decision to name Reece James as Chelsea captain ahead of Liverpool opener
Reece James is set to lead Chelsea out at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool on Sunday (13 August).
It will be the English right-back’s first competitive game after being named the club’s new captain. Cesar Azplicueta’s exit meant the Blues were searching for a new skipper for the first time in years.
Thiago Silva and James emerged as the two strongest candidates and the Argentine tactician decided to go with the latter. Ahead of his team’s game against Liverpool, ‘Poch’ explained his decision to name the 23-year-old as Chelsea’s captain. He said, via Football.London:
“He’s not only a player that can be a leader because of his qualities He is the present and is going to be the future also. For us, he is a perfect player and person to be a captain.”
Naming Silva as captain could have required the west London giants to search for a new captain next year. He is 38 years old and in the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
James, meanwhile, has been with the Blues since 2006, registering 11 goals and 20 assists in 147 senior games.