Manchester City will “bide their time” before triggering their buyback option on Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, according to Alan Hutton.
The former Aston Villa fullback claims that the Premier League champions will wait to see how the Belgian Under 21 international develops on the south coast:
“They might (bring him back), that’s why they put (the deal) in there. They obviously see the potential the boy’s got. He wasn’t ready for the City team, but they see that he possibly could be in the years to come. They will just bide their time and see how he develops and if it’s right for City and the player then he’ll go back.”
Lavia was only sold to the Saints for £14m in July but Chelsea decided to table a £50m offer for the teenager before the transfer window closed earlier this month, despite the midfielder having just arrived at St Mary’s.
While the offer was rejected, it does show you how highly rated the 18-year-old is by other clubs. City’s buyback clause is unlikely to be as high as £50m so they are in a good position, as Hutton says, to monitor his development, without being forced into a bidding war for his services.
Lavia is currently sidelined with a muscular injury but, after he returns to fitness, scouts will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on his performances.