MANCHESTER CITY were told they may have a decision to make over their £40million buy-back option on Romeo Lavia – just weeks after selling him for £14 million.
The champions allowed the Belgian midfield ace to join today’s opponents Southampton in early July, once their swoop for Kalvin Phillips was agreed.
However he was very highly-regarded by Pep Guardiola and staff at the Etihad. Therefore they secured an option to buy him back if any bids were accepted from elsewhere. Lavia made an outstanding start at St Mary’s, attracting the attention of Chelsea.
And the Blues made a staggering £50million offer – £40million up front plus £10million in add ons – before August’s transfer deadline.
City were put on alert that they may have to exercis their option or risk losing him. But Southampton turned the offer down as they were desperate to count on the starlet this season. Lavia is now injured and misses the return to his former club today but Guardiola said:
“Romeo started amazingly at Southampton but unfortunately had the injury. “It was an option to keep him here but a good offe from Southampton arrived for him and his development.