Manchester United must beat Arsenal and Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia.
The Belgian youngster joined the Saints from Manchester City for £14 million last summer and he has been one of their leading stars over the course of the season.
While the Saints look destined for top-flight relegation, the 19-year-old has stood out with his individual displays and there could be a bidding battle for him soon.
City have a £40 million buy-back clause for the teenager but that will only become active in June 2024.
Hence, the South Coast outfit have the opportunity to cash in for a much higher figure this summer.
United, Arsenal and Liverpool are all said to be interested in Lavia and in our opinion, the Red Devils must move early to beat their Premier League rivals to his signature.
Lavia could be considered as Casemiro’s long-term successor
The teenager was a relatively unknown player when he signed for the Saints last summer.
However, his potential was immediately on display during the early weeks of the campaign before he picked up a hamstring injury.
Lavia made his comeback prior to the World Cup and over the past few months, he has continued to impress with his performances.
The Belgian has completed 86 per cent of his passes with an average of two tackles and five duels won.
Meanwhile, he has lost possession on just seven occasions per outing which is hugely impressive.
Compared to him, Casemiro has been dispossessed on 13 occasions per league game this term.
In our view, Lavia could be seen as a long-term successor for Casemiro. He could come in as a replacement for Scott McTominay.
McTominay’s game time has drastically reduced in the back end of the campaign and there are suggestions that he could be sold.
United must be pro-active in their pursuit of Lavia, considering Arsenal and Liverpool are planning to do most of their business by pre-season.
The Red Devils are currently under a cloud of uncertainty over the ownership and that needs to be sorted fast to focus on potential player deals.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sofascore.com