Manchester United have opened discussions with Italian side Lazio over the transfer of Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to reports.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘here we go again’, the Serbian’s name seems to be associated with that of United in just about every transfer window only for nothing to materialise, like a modern-day Ezequiel Garay or Wesley Sneijder.
Last summer, reports claimed that United were readying a £72 million bid for the Serbian, but Lazio wanted £90 million.
A similar story did the rounds in 2018, when the Red Devils reportedly pitched an £80 million bid, which was rejected out of hand by the Serie A side.
However, Fichajes.com claims that contact has again been made between the clubs and one thing that does mean this story could have wings is the current financial climate – which could persuade the Italian side to be less bullish in their demands.
‘The Lazio midfielder … is one of the Red Devils’ greatest wishes after qualifying for the 2020-2021 Champions League,’ Fichajes claims.
‘According to the information to which we have access…, United dream of adding the midfielder who was born in Lérida to their powerful cast.
‘Furthermore, it seems that Milinkovic-Savic would welcome the opportunity to strengthen the core of one of the most charismatic and representative entities on the planet.
‘In fact, the most recent contacts between the two parties were established over the past week.
‘Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, PSG and Juventus are also on the prowl.’
Lazio have qualified for next season’s Champions League which has taken the pressure off them financially, but it is still a balancing act. Their accounts were in the red even before lockdown and the wage bill has been cited as a major reason for the problems.
The 25-year old’s market value has shrunk to £58 million and if United were to bid anything over that amount, they would potentially face little competition and Lazio could at last be ready to cash in on the player.
Other than the fact that he is a world-class midfielder, a huge advantage the Serbian offers over others is his versatility. He can play as a holding midfielder and would therefore challenge Nemanja Matic in that role, but he would also provide a world-class alternative to Paul Pogba or Bruno Fernandes in the more creative and advanced positions. He therefore offers a Swiss army-knife type of transfer that would strengthen the Red Devils in two or three different positions.
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