Arsenal surprisingly pursuing relegated midfielder as alternative target: report

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 14, 2023 in London, England.
(Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have turned attentions to a midfielder who was relegated from the Premier League last season, as Mikel Arteta looks to rebuild his squad.

The Gunners are looking in pole position to land Declan Rice this summer, with The Guardian reporting that the move for West Ham United captain Rice is "progressing quickly" – but Arteta would ideally love another midfielder.

Earlier this week, a source told Chelsea journalist Simon Phillips that Arsenal had a bid ready for Blues target Moises Caicedo irrespective of the Rice deal – but since, Fabrizio Romano has claimed that, "It has always been Chelsea frontrunners despite rumours of Arsenal bid in the last weeks," about the Ecuadorian.

Moises Caicedo of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City at American Express Community Stadium on September 4, 2022 in Brighton, United Kingdom.

Moises Caicedo of Brighton and Hove Albion is wanted by Chelsea and Arsenal (Image credit: Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

According to The Independent, the Gunners have turned their attention to Southampton star, Romeo Lavia.

The Belgian joined the south coast side from Manchester City last summer but could not prevent the Saints from a descent into the Championship, despite impressive performances. 

A lower cost option to Caicedo, Lavia is still just 19 and stylistically, is very similar to Thomas Partey, Arsenal's first-choice No.6 for much of Mikel Arteta's tenure.

Not only would the teenager be an option to groom for the position in the long-term, he could be moulded into more of a No.8, or even an inverted right-back, where Partey slotted in for the final two matches of the Premier League season last term. 

Romeo Lavia, Southampton

Romeo Lavia of Southampton is on Arsenal's radar (Image credit: Getty Images)

Now is the opportune time to do business, too. Lavia has a clause in his contract that comes into effect next summer, allowing City to re-sign him.

The midfield starlet is valued at €25 million by Transfermarkt

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal transfer news is ramping up this summer, with the Gunners set to loosen their wage structure to attract the best players.

Moises Caicedo is heavily linkedXavi Simons is on the radarIvan Fresneda could join and Ilkay Gundogan is wanted, too. Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too – with William SalibaMartin Odegaard and Thomas Partey all wanted by clubs overseas.

Jay Bothroyd, meanwhile, has told FFT that the Gunners perhaps surprisingly, should be in the market for a striker.

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