Lazio are already preparing for the exit of Manchester United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic by lining up Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz as a replacement, according to reports.
Jose Mourinho has made it clear that adding midfield reinforcements in the summer will be his priority ahead of Michael Carrick‘s transition to the coaching staff and Marouane Fellaini‘s probable departure.
And the 55-year-old clearly admires Milinkovic-Savic, travelling to Vienna personally to watch him in action for Serbia back in October.
According to Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport, Lazio have given Man United great encouragement in their pursuit of Milinkovic-Savic by lining up Ruiz, who has impressed for Betis this season, as a low-cost replacement.
The Serbian has been quick to dismiss talk of a move away this season but the club’s sporting director recently noted that the club would listen to offers in excess of €70m.
That amount of money for a 22-year-old would have been ludicrous just a couple of years ago but, following a summer window that took transfers into a different stratosphere, feels like a solid investment for a player who, placed on the right next to Paul Pogba in a midfield three, would give Mourinho an extra source of impetus and quality in possession for next season.