18-year-old midfielder Roméo Lavia has left Manchester City, to join Southampton on a five-year deal. The Belgium U21 international moves over to the St. Mary’s for an initial £10m, with further add-ons structured into the deal which could see the total rise to £14m. The contract also contains a buyback clause believed to be in the region of £40m for Man City.
In other words, this will be sort of like a more complicated and longer term loan deal, potentially. Or at least it’s a permanent and loan hybrid kind of transfer.
Roméo Lavia is Saints’ fourth signing of the summer, after goalkeepers Gavin Bazunu and Mateusz Lis, and defender Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Said Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl:
“Roméo is an extremely talented young player at the start of his career who is open-minded and wants to learn and develop his game with us.
“We are very excited to sign him ahead of many other interested clubs. It proves that we have a positive reputation for improving young players, which we have worked hard to build up over the years.
“Roméo is coming from one of the best teams in the world, learning from the best manager and the best players. Now it is up to him to show us why he deserves to play in the Premier League, as we hope to help take his game to the next level.”
Roméo Lavia, a very fast rising and promising prospect, said: “I’m really delighted to join this club. I think this club has a really good culture with young players, so I’m really happy to be here.
“When I heard of the interest of Southampton I was buzzing because there’s an opportunity for young players to develop as much as possible and I’m very excited.”
He made his debut for Pep Guardiola’s senior team with a starting assignment against League One side Wycombe in the League Cup. His other first team appearance with the Cityzens came as a sub at Swindon in the FA Cup.
According to the Daily Mail, “the holding midfielder, who has represented Belgium from under-15 up to under-21 level, is rated as one of Europe’s most promising teenagers.”
However, we have some bigger Man City transfer news to report right now, and we’ll get to that blockbuster transfer item shortly.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”