Manchester United have reportedly been given good news on two fronts as they cast their eye towards a 2023 move for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Milinkovic-Savic is one of Lazio’s most important players, having been at the club since August 2015. Last season, he scored 11 goals in 37 matches as the Italian outfit finished fifth in Serie A.
Milinkovic-Savic has continued to make a big impact for Lazio this term. He is already on four goals and seven assists in all competitions and could be set for his best ever season in a Lazio shirt.
The central midfielder is widely viewed as their talisman alongside striker Ciro Immobile. Whenever the attacker isn’t available, Milinkovic-Savic captains the team.
Serbia international Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with Manchester United plenty of times over the past few years.
Some journalists thought he would finally move to Old Trafford in the most recent summer transfer window. In August, reports in Italy claimed Milinkovic-Savic was ready to ‘say yes’ to a Red Devils switch.
However, Man Utd ended up prioritising other midfielders at the wish of Erik ten Hag. Their main target was Frenkie de Jong, although that pursuit came to nothing.
By the end of the window, Man Utd had captured Christian Eriksen on a free and Casemiro from Real Madrid for an initial £60million.
Update given on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Man Utd
There are rumours Ten Hag still wants a quality midfield operator adding to his ranks next year. And while De Jong will be his ideal choice, Milinkovic-Savic represents a great alternative.
Sport Witness provide an update on the Milinkovic-Savic situation, while citing Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. They claim Lazio were demanding an eye-watering €100m (£87.6m) for their prized asset in the summer. Perhaps this is another reason why Man Utd didn’t launch a swoop for him.
However, Milinkovic-Savic’s Lazio contract is gradually running down – it expires in summer 2024.
This weakens the bargaining power of Lazio President Claudio Lotito. As such, he is now facing the prospect of selling Milinkovic-Savic for around half of his original €100m valuation. The report claims Lazio will be tempted by any bids that come in worth €50-60m (£43.8-52.6m).
This is great news for Man Utd as they can easily afford such a fee. Just look at the £86m they spent to appease Ten Hag and bring in Antony from Ajax during the summer.
Man Utd at the front of the queue for ace
Sport Witness bring up the possibility of Milinkovic-Savic going to Lazio’s Italian rivals Juventus. Like Man Utd, they are long-term admirers of the 27-year-old.
However, Lazio have set their exit preference for the star and it appears to be good for Man Utd. That’s because Lazio would rather let Milinkovic-Savic leave for a foreign team than play against them in Serie A.
Due to this, Man Utd are seemingly in pole position to complete a deal, as Lazio will be reluctant to negotiate with Juve.
It is now up to Man Utd chiefs to put up the necessary £43.8-52.6m bid that will get Lazio’s attention.
Milinkovic-Savic is clearly a classy operator who would improve Man Utd’s midfield. He could play alongside serial winner Casemiro, for example.
However, it is likely Man Utd will go all out for De Jong at the wishes of Ten Hag. This means they will probably avoid paying £40m+ on Milinkovic-Savic and save all of that money with the aim of bidding for De Jong.
Meanwhile, Man Utd are reportedly going after a Ligue 1 star as part of their aim to improve a problem position.