Rumour Watch

Leeds’ interest in City talent: Rumour Watch

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Multiple sources including The Athletic are suggesting that Leeds may be interested in 18-year-old Roméo Lavia from Manchester City, with the Citizens reportedly believing that this could make it easier to get Kalvin Phillips to go the other way.

Born in Brussels, the Belgian holding midfielder joined Manchester City in 2020 from Pro League giants Anderlecht, and has since become a key member of their under-23 side in the PL2. His impressive performances earned him a first-team debut against Swindon Town in the EFL Cup and a place in their Champions League squad for 2021-22.

An issue for this deal could be Southampton’s reported interest in Lavia.

Romeo Lavia in action with Swindon Town’s Ryan East REUTERS/David Klein

Reasons to believe this rumour

  • It seems increasingly likely that Kalvin Phillips will be making his way to Manchester City this summer. This would make Roméo’s path to the first-team even more tricky, with superstar Rodri also ahead of him in the pecking order at the club, despite many tipping the Belgian to be the ‘next big thing‘ to come out of City’s impressive academy.
  • The Phillips deal would also make Leeds’ depth issue even worse, with Robin Koch, Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk, amongst others, having to slot in to that role last season. Lavia would go some way to mitigating this alongside new signing Marc Roca.
  • There is a clear vision within Leeds United that young talents are a good option for signings, with Lewis Bate, Joe Gelhardt and Leo Hjelde being some recent acquisitions.

Reasons to NOT believe this rumour

  • Lavia’s talent will not have gone unnoticed by City’s staff, who may want to keep him at the club to challenge for a spot in the first-team next season. They may also prefer a loan move, which wouldn’t be in Leeds’ best interests as he is more one for the future than an instant starter.
  • Jesse Marsch has made it clear that he wants more experience in the side, which Lavia will not supply the squad with, since he is yet to make a first-team league appearance.

I personally think this would be a smart signing if a permanent deal can be negotiated, especially since quality in the holding midfield position has been so important for Leeds United over the past few seasons. What are your thoughts?

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