Manchester City “still control” Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia‘s future, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
The Citizens sold the Belgian to the Saints for £12m in the summer, but Chelsea still tried to make a move for the player on deadline day in September.
It is believed that the Blues had a £50m bid turned down for Lavia and, although the London club are still reportedly interested in the 18-year-old, Romano says City’s buyback clause means they are the ones in the driving seat:
“The new co-director of recruitment [at Chelsea] from Southampton, Joe Shields, who is the man who brought Romeo Lavia to Southampton from Manchester City on a permanent deal. But first point, [it] is not easy because Man City have a buyback clause for Lavia, and so they still control the player.”
The price to bring Lavia back to the Etihad is believed to be only £40m, £10m less than the fee that Chelsea tabled back in September.
Considering it would still be £28m more than the amount they sold him for, you’d have to say that he would have to seriously impress for Southampton in order for the Premier League champions to contemplate re-signing the teenager.