Lazio director Igli Tare has warned Manchester United that they will need to shell out “well over” €90m in the summer to secure the services of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Jose Mourinho has established keen interest in the Serbian, who has enjoyed an impressive campaign in Serie, ahead of the summer as he looks to reinforce his options in the middle.
Tare claimed just last month that any potential suitors would need to launch a bid which exceeded around €70m to prize him away from Rome.
But it appears that Tare, with the transfer window just a couple of months away, has further upped the stakes for Milinkovic-Savic, adding that no price-tag has been set amid rumours of the club asking for £131m to let him leave.
“I’ve never spoken to Real Madrid about him, they never approached us,” he said. “I don’t know how much he could be worth and I don’t even want to think about it.”
“It’s certainly a figure well over €80-90m, in any case. Sergej is very important to us and has not yet reached his peak. There are always more players who can be found and developed.
“I want it to be clear, Lazio have never set a price-tag or asked anything for Milinkovic. We received offers more or less on that level last summer, but they were not taken into consideration.”
Tare claims that the mooted figure of £131m is nonsense but you can bank on that kind of investment being necessary for a player in high demand, in a transfer market which, with the World Cup and the new policy of the window closing earlier than normal, will be even more hectic than normal.
And it is a figure United will have to meet. You can bank on Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City all making investments north of £100m in the summer and United, in order to add some much needed legs and attacking vitality to the middle, will need to do the same if they are to challenge the very best next term.