While there remains just over a month left of the current campaign, attention among Manchester United supporters will already be turning toward the summer transfer window, amid the hope that the Red Devils can make a handful of marquee additions ahead of next season.
As Manchester Evening News reported earlier this year, manager Erik ten Hag is said to be prioritising the signing of a new centre-forward this summer, although the Dutchman is also said to be ‘pushing’ to land a midfield acquisition to further strengthen that department.
Despite securing the experienced duo of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro just under a year ago, the same publication also suggested back in January that a ‘younger midfielder’ could be on the agenda this time around, with the Old Trafford outfit keen to look to the future.
With that in mind, the Independent have only recently claimed that the top-four hopefuls are among those interested in signing Southampton’s teen sensation, Romeo Lavia, with Ten Hag said to view the 19-year-old as a ‘successor’ to the aforementioned Casemiro.
The young Belgian was only snapped up by the relegation-threatened Saints from Manchester City on a £14m deal back in July, although the recent suggestion has been that he could now command around £50m, amid rival interest from Chelsea.
Would Lavia be a good signing for Man United?
The addition of the promising “monster” – as hailed by journalist Benjy Nurick – would represent something of a coup for those at the Theatre of Dreams, with the Brussels-born ace having proven himself a player of “so much potential”, according to club legend Paul Scholes.
While part of a side that currently looks set for the drop, Lavia has been a real shining light at the base of the midfield, showcasing his defensive, ball-winning prowess after averaging two tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game from 24 league games this season.
A talent who is “big and strong and likes to defend” – according to Scholes – the former Etihad youth star could represent a player who United can build around for years to come, with the 5 foot 11 colossus a true long-term option for Ten Hag.
The signing of the exciting teenager from St Mary’s could be a repeat of the Red Devils’ transfer masterclass involving Luke Shaw, with the Englishman having been prised from the south coast side at the age of just 18 back in 2014 on a £30m deal.
Despite the left-back’s early struggles in Manchester – having notably sustained a double leg fracture in September 2015 and been routinely criticised by former boss Jose Mourinho – the 27-year-old has now blossomed into a key figure in the present day, having been described as a “leader” and a “great player” by his manager.
The £150k-per-week man has now racked up 253 games in all competitions at the club since arriving almost nine years ago, with the experienced ace set to extend his stay even further having only recently signed a new long-term deal.
On the evidence of Shaw’s current form under Ten Hag – having even been ‘faultless’ in a centre-back berth last time out, as per MEN’s Samuel Luckhurst – the defender’s signing does appear a notable success, with the hope being that young Lavia can follow in his footsteps.
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