Southampton are poised to win the race to sign Tino Livramento from Chelsea for £5m. The highly rated right-back was expected to join Brighton, maar Southampton have moved to the head of the queue and are close to signing the 18-year-old on a five-year deal.
Livramento, who can operate as full-back or a wing-back on either flank, is in the last year of his contract and is set to become the latest academy player to leave Chelsea. The youngster, who also had interest from Aston Villa, Milan and RB Leipzig, has failed to agree terms on a new deal and believes that he needs to leave to continue his development. Under the deal, Chelsea would have a £25m buy-back option.
Livramento can justify his stance by pointing to the number of players blocking his path into the first team. Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi played at right wing-back last season, César Azpilicueta remains a key player and Thomas Tuchel has considered bringing in another right-sided player. Chelsea were unsuccessful in a bid for Achraf Hakimi, who joined Paris Saint-German from Internazionale, and have repeatedly been linked with Wolves’ Adama Traoré.
Chelsea have struggled to keep hold of some of their top young players this summer, with many taking the view that they have a better chance of regular first-team football elsewhere. They have sold Marc Guehi to Crystal Palace, Lewis Bate to Leeds and Myles Peart-Harris to Brentford, and Southampton have also signed Dynel Simeu on a free transfer.