Arsenal have secret 'advantage' to sign Romeo Lavia as Bukayo Saka 'link' revealed
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Arsenal are reportedly in talks to sign Southampton star Romeo Lavia this summer - and they have a 'secret' advantage in their pursuit of the Belgian.
The 19-year-old could, therefore, be playing Championship football next season - but it appears much more likely at this stage that he will remain in the top division.
Southampton reportedly value the midfielder at £50 million, a fee that Arsenal may try and negotiate given their club-record bid for Declan Rice that was submitted on Tuesday.
And they do have a potentially significant advantage in their battle to sign Lavia.
Arsenal's secret Lavia 'advantage' revealed
Lavia is represented by football agent Emeka Obasi, whose Elite Football Group represents a number of high-profile clients across European football.
Significantly, however, there is a major Arsenal presence within his list of 49 clients. Gunners players Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun are represented by Elite Football Group.
There are also links to past Arsenal starlets as well. Montpellier's Stephy Mavididi, Everton's Alex Iwobi and Middlesbrough's Chuba Akpom are also involved with Obasi.
Given Arsenal's already extensive relationship with the agent, negotiating personal terms with Lavia could become easier as a result.
Obasi will have worked with Gunners chiefs over new contracts for Saka and Nketiah - although could potentially be negotiating Balogun's exit from the Emirates Stadium this summer.
Speaking after scoring his first senior goal for the United States in their 2-0 win over Canada in the CONCACAF Nations League final, Balogun said: "What I can say is that I definitely won't go out on loan again.
"I'm not sure [about] the discussions that are going to take place, I'm not sure what's going to happen. But I'm just committed to now, I try to stay present."