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Man Utd could sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as Paul Pogba’s replacement

Manchester United could revive their interest in Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic amid the potential departure of Paul Pogba, Gazzetta dello Sport (today’s edition, page 19) claims.

The Red Devils are currently uncertain about the future of Pogba. The Frenchman has under four months remaining on his contract, and there has been no progress over a renewal.

It appears more likely that he could leave on a free transfer this summer. If that ends up the case, Gazzetta report that the Red Devils could revive their long-term interest in Milinkovic-Savic.

Lazio were previously looking for €100 million (£83m) for the Serbian, but are now prepared to lower the price tag to €70-80m (£58-66m) as the midfielder is about to enter the final two years of his contract.

United have been tipped to make an offer, especially if Pogba leaves. However, they will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain. It is said that the player would prefer a move to Paris over Manchester.

Our view:

Milinkovic-Savic has been long linked with a Premier League move. There has been rumoured interest from the Red Devils, but a deal has never materialised between the clubs.

Lazio’s hefty valuation has been a prime reason. The Serie A outfit are willing to lower their demands this summer, with the 27-year-old having no plans of signing a new contract.

Milinkovic-Savic would be an ideal replacement for Pogba with his box-to-box ability. He has bagged an impressive tally of eight goals and ten assists from 37 games for Lazio this term.

While the Serbian is more influential going forward, he has also fared better defensively than Pogba.

He has averaged 1.7 tackles and one interception, much superior to Pogba’s statistics (0.7 tackles and 0.6 interceptions per league game).

It remains to be seen whether they can lure the midfielder this summer. While the price tag could be a stumbling block, they may also need to assure him Champions League football.

That appears far from certain. It has been reported that the next manager could have a pre-sales budget of just £50m without Champions League football.

This could be upped to £80m if they qualify for UEFA’s top club competition.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com.

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