Chelsea are on the verge of signing Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, which could deal a double blow to Liverpool. The Reds have made several unsuccessful bids for the 19-year-old, who is valued at £50 million by Southampton. However, Chelsea have reportedly matched that figure with their latest offer. Liverpool’s best offer, including add-ons, was £46 million, but it was swiftly rejected. There is still a possibility of a last-minute bid from Liverpool for the Belgian international, who is said to be keen on a move to Anfield.
In another potential setback for Liverpool, it was initially reported that Brighton & Hove Albion had accepted their British record offer of £110 million for Moises Caicedo. However, subsequent reports suggest that Caicedo has his sights set on a move to Chelsea. The Blues are said to be preparing a new and improved offer for the 21-year-old midfielder, who plays for Brighton. Both Lavia and Caicedo are defensive midfielders, a position that Chelsea are looking to strengthen following the departures of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic this summer. It remains to be seen how Liverpool will react to the news of potentially losing out on both of their midfield targets to their London rivals.
Meanwhile, ahead of Chelsea’s opening game against Liverpool, manager Mauricio Pochettino has explained his decision to appoint Reece James as the club’s new captain. This comes after Cesar Azpilicueta’s departure, which left the team in need of a new skipper. Pochettino considered both Thiago Silva and James as potential candidates, but ultimately chose the 23-year-old right-back. Pochettino praised James for his leadership qualities and described him as the perfect player and person to be a captain. This decision also avoids the need for Chelsea to search for a new captain next year, as Silva is 38 years old and in the final year of his contract.
James, who has been with Chelsea since 2006, has already made a significant impact, scoring 11 goals and providing 20 assists in 147 senior games. He will lead the team out at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when they face Liverpool in what promises to be an exciting encounter.