To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Arsenal have key weapon in chase for midfield target as rival interest revealed

Arsenal have key weapon in chase for midfield target as rival interest revealed

Arsenal have a key weapon in their pursuit of a midfield transfer target.

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia - and they have a key weapon in their attempts to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

Lavia, who signed for the Saints from Manchester City last summer, was brought to St Mary's Stadium as part of a drive to sign younger players.

The 19-year-old had yet to make his Premier League debut before joining the club, although did make two appearances in cup competitions for City in the previous season.

However, Lavia has been one of the few bright sparks for Southampton in what has been a difficult season, with the side languishing at the bottom of the Premier League. They are four points from safety.

Southampton also suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to League Two Grimsby in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday, although Lavia did put in a respectable display.

He was praised by Saints team-mate Theo Walcott in January, with the former Arsenal star claiming the Belgium youth international was playing 'way above his age'.

Walcott told talkSPORT: "I'm a big fan. He's obviously had a few injuries but he's coming back. He's young, he's 18/19 when he's off the field, but when he's on the field, it's mad. It's like he's played over 200 games in the Premier League, that's how much I rate him."

Arsenal keen on signing Lavia amid rival interest

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are all interested in signing Lavia this summer.

Even if Southampton get relegated to the Championship, it is likely that any interested club would have to pay more than the £14 million it took to bring the midfielder to St Mary's at the beginning of the season.

But the Gunners hold a key advantage over their rivals in the chase - manager Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard still has links to City, having worked as an assistant under Pep Guardiola between 2016 and 2019.

And whilst Lavia joined City's youth teams from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2020, after Arteta left for Arsenal, the Spaniard will have familiar knowledge of the pathway and philosophy that runs through the age group levels at the club.

In addition, having seen ex-City stars Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko achieve success at the Emirates Stadium since their arrivals, Arteta could convince Lavia that a move to north London is the right one for him, over Chelsea and United.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Southampton, Manchester City, Transfers, Romeo Lavia