Lazio sporting director Igil Tare has made it clear that Manchester United will have to pay over €70m to acquire the services of midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer.
He personally travelled to Vienna in October to watch Milinkovic-Savic feature for Serbia in a World Cup qualifier and reports have claimed that he prefers him over Napoli’s Jorginho.
And Tare, when asked about the 22-year-old, made it clear that potential suitors would have to launch a bid eclipsing the €70m sum tabled last year.
“I wouldn’t know how much he’s worth, but €70million would be too little,” he said. “Over the summer we received, and rejected, an offer worth €70million for Milinkovic-Savic.”
“We want to make Lazio a point of arrival for players rather than a stepping stone to bigger clubs. We have a lot of work to do, but that is our objective. The team was built to achieve certain objectives and from now until the end of the season, there will be no more transfer market distractions.”
Up until now the notion of Milinkovic-Savic leaving Lazio at all has been roundly rejected by his camp, but Tare has revealed here that the Serb has a price at the very least. A heavy price.
And you can see why. At the age of 22 he is already a regular – and crucial – presence in the Lazio midfield, breaking through the lines with precision and speed, relentlessly feeding an attack that has claimed more Serie A goals than Napoli or Juventus this season.
United only have one player capable of consistently supplying quality forward passes in Paul Pogba, and Mourinho will be understandably determined to add another as he looks to close the gap with Pep Guardiola.