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Arsenal could ditch Lavia plans to sign Bitello

Romeo Lavia

Arsenal are one of the clubs showing keen interest in signing Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, but they could ditch those plans to sign Bitello instead. 

Journalist Paul Brown claims that the Gunners have held discussions over a move for Lavia – who is valued at around £50m. He says that Arsenal made an approach some weeks ago to sign the 19-year-old midfielder but they are still keeping their options open.

The Gunners have bolstered their midfield this summer by signing Declan Rice for a fee of around £105m, which is not only their club record signing but also a British transfer record. They have also added Kai Havertz from Chelsea and it appears they remain in the hunt for more new faces ahead of the next season.

After Southampton got relegated to the Championship, Lavia is available in the market and the Daily Express claims that Arsenal could challenge Liverpool for his signature.

While a move to the Emirates cannot be ruled out, Brown suggests that following the capture of Rice, they could look for cheaper options with Bitello in the frame.

90min claimed earlier this month that the Gunners have started negotiations with Brazilian outfit Gremio over a move for the 23-year-old – who has a valuation of around £8.5m.

Brown told Give Me Sport:

“They’ve definitely looked at Lavia. They made an approach some weeks ago.

“Obviously, since Rice came in, that’s a big fill in midfield. I don’t honestly believe that Arsenal will spend big on another midfielder like that.

“I think the fact that they are chasing Bitello, in Brazil, quite hard kind of speaks to where the money might be going.

“I think Lavia might be out of reach just because his club are asking quite a lot of money for him and I’m not sure Arsenal see value there. It would surprise me if they were to chase that one hard from now on.”

Lavia could be a cracking addition 

After making two blockbuster signings, if Arsenal decide to move for Bitello instead it would make sense. The North Londoners need to work within their means and may struggle to afford another big-money midfield signing such as Lavia.

Arteta could also use the money wisely to bolster other areas of the pitch. However, if Arsenal could stretch their finances to sign Lavia, it could turn them into genuine title challengers next season.

The Belgian youngster was superb for the Saints last season. He has got solid technical ability to control midfield and most importantly, it’s frightening that he is far from the finished article.

It’s a decision that the Gunners will have to make, but considering the fact that Liverpool are desperate to land him, it looks like Arsenal may opt to move for Bitello instead.

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