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Chelsea could forget about Fernandez with Romeo Lavia swoop

Chelsea have recently been dealt a rather detrimental transfer blow, with touted winter target Enzo Fernandez looking increasingly likely to remain at Benfica for the remainder of the season following a stumble in negotiations.

With the deal going astray, Blues manager Graham Potter might be inclined to turn his head and reassess previous targets, with Southampton‘s Romeo Lavia one such prospect who could emerge from the situation in Chelsea colours.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirmed in September that the Blues had attempted to bring the Belgian starlet to Stamford Bridge in the summer by offering £50m, despite the Saints having signed him from Manchester City just a couple of months prior.

Any audacious efforts to ensnare their target were indeed rebuffed by the south coast club, but Chelsea’s intrigue in the player’s services has stretched into the winter months, and a move might just be forthcoming following the recent developments in the Fernandez transfer saga.

Conversing with talkSPORT, Alex Crook stated that he believes Chelsea could return for previous targets now that the Fernandez deal is fading, and Lavia could be at the centre of the forthcoming attention.

Crook said: “For Chelsea it’s back to the drawing board. I do have a potential alternative target as it’s pretty clear they’re looking to strengthen that midfield area.

“Romeo Lavia was a player at Southampton they came in for late in the last transfer window despite the fact Southampton only signed him last summer.

“I was told yesterday that interest could well be reignited. Southampton on their part would be loathed to sell Lavia, but certainly keep your eye on Chelsea potentially testing their resolve with a big-money bid.”

Should Chelsea move for Romeo Lavia?

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The 19-year-old has made ten appearances for the Saints since arriving in the summer in a £14m move from City, scoring one goal – ironically against Chelsea – and captivating supporters with his maturity and confidence from the middle of the park.

As per Sofascore, he has recorded an impressive rating of 6.81 in the Premier League despite his tender age and inexperience within professional competitive football and has completed 88% of his passes, also making 1.7 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game.

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Southampton correspondent Alfie House has waxed lyrical about Lavia, calling him a player who “sets the tempo“; and with Chelsea in dire need of midfield reinforcements, sitting tenth in the league table and with established central figures N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both set to depart when their current deals expire at the end of the term, Potter can quickly move on from Fernandez by pouncing for the Belgian teenager instead.