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Fabrizio Romano update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Romeo Lavia

Romeo Lavia

Arsenal strengthened their midfield with the signing of Declan Rice from West Ham United and were looking to add Romeo Lavia to their engine room amid uncertainty over Thomas Partey’s future.

However, Fabrizio Romano says the Gunners aren’t likely to sign the 19-year-old Southampton star as Partey is now expected to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

‘Arsenal are not active in Romeo Lavia race now as Thomas Partey has good chance to stay. Saudi clubs approached Gunners days ago, Juventus called in June but never close to €40/45m package requested by Arsenal. Huge bid or Thomas stays. Arteta, happy with him.’

The 30-year-old was a regular for Arsenal last season, making 40 appearances across the board, but Juventus and clubs from the Saudi Pro League have shown an interest. Arsenal were open to a sale after signing Rice, but they aren’t budging on their €45m (£38.5m) asking price.

Romano says Partey could now end up staying in North London as no suitor has lodged an acceptable bid. Mikel Arteta is reportedly happy to keep him next season too, so there isn’t a fervent need to sign Lavia. That’s not to say the Belgian international wouldn’t be a good addition to the engine room.


Southampton were relegated last season, so they’re expected to lose a number of valuable assets that are unwilling to play in the Championship. James Ward-Prowse has been linked with a move to West Ham United, but Lavia is the most coveted player in their squad.

He’s made 34 appearances in all competitions for the Saints since joining from Manchester City in 2022, scoring one goal with one assist. No Arsenal player averaged more tackles per game than the 19-year-old last season (2.1) and no player averaged more interceptions (1.1).

Martin Odegaard is the only Arsenal midfielder with more dribbles per game (1.3) than Lavia (1.1), so it’s easy to see why Arsenal were previously interested. But with Southampton requesting £50m for the midfielder, Arsenal believe they’re better off keeping Partey.

Arteta has Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny providing cover in midfield, so it’s not an area Arsenal desperately need to strengthen. The Gunners have already spent £200m on new signings too, so they must make sure they’re staying in line with Financial Fair Play regulations.

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