Chelsea seal £58m Lavia signing before lodging bid for keeper Petrovic | Chelsea

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Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Roméo Lavia from Southampton. The 19-year-old is the second defensive midfielder bought by the club this week, after Moisés Caicedo, and the deals mean Mauricio Pochettino has at his disposal two players who had been wanted by Liverpool.

The fee for Lavia could reach £58m after a British-record £115m, including add-ons, was paid to take Caicedo from Brighton. It continues the huge outlay under the owners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

Pochettino has been desperate to add more depth in midfield. Chelsea have allowed Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave this year. They started with a midfield of Enzo Fernández, Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka during their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday. Funds could be raised by selling Gallagher after the arrival of Lavia, who has signed a seven-year contract.

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Chelsea’s spending, however, does not end with Lavia. The club have also submitted a bid of £15.7m for the New England goalkeeper, Djordje Petrovic, after allowing Kepa Arrizabalaga to join Real Madrid on loan.

The move for Petrovic has been instigated by Arrizabalaga leaving Pochettino in need of more competition for Robert Sánchez, who left Brighton for £25m earlier this month. Chelsea had already sold Édouard Mendy to the Saudi Pro League and are expected to make Sánchez, who made his debut against Liverpool last weekend, their new No 1.

The other goalkeepers in Pochettino’s squad are the veteran, Marcus Bettinelli, and two youngsters, Jamie Cumming and Lucas Bergstrom. Chelsea are looking to the future and Petrovic is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Major League Soccer. The 23-year-old joined New England from a Serbian club, FK Cukaricki, two years ago and has already been capped by Serbia. It remains to be seen if Chelsea’s offer is enough.

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Chelsea plan to add to their attacking options, with Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson among their targets after Michael Olise rejected a move in favour of signing a new contract at Crystal Palace.

Roméo Lavia holding up his No 45 Chelsea shirt
Roméo Lavia will wear No 45 at Chelsea. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images

Newcastle have agreed to sign Chelsea’s Lewis Hall on loan with an obligation to make the deal permanent for £28m plus £7m in add-ons. It is understood the deal to sell the 18-year-old weeks after he was handed a new six-year deal was negotiated by Chelsea’s co-owner Behdad Eghbali. Hall made 12 appearances last season and his departure means 14 players have left this summer.

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Hall, who can also play in midfield, was initially set to join Crystal Palace on loan. That deal collapsed, though, and he emerged as a target for Newcastle, who can offer Champions League football. His path into the first team at Chelsea was blocked by Ben Chilwell, Marc Cucurella and Ian Maatsen.

There will be some disquiet over Chelsea’s decision to sell one of their brightest academy products. However the club need to raise funds because of their frenzied spending and money received for academy players goes in the accounts as pure profit in financial fair play terms.

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