Manchester United are in pole position to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is eyeing a fresh challenge this summer, Corriere dello Sport (today’s edition, page 17) claims.
The Serbia international has been long linked with a move to Old Trafford, but the Red Devils have not been able to negotiate a suitable fee with the Serie A outfit.
Lazio previously demanded over €100 million for their prized asset, but it has recently emerged that he could be prised away for around €65-70m this summer.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Milinkovic-Savic is prepared to leave Lazio after seven seasons, and will ask to be sold when the transfer window reopens.
It is added that United are ‘in pole’ to land his services. The Red Devils have identified the 27-year-old as a like-for-like replacement for wantaway star Paul Pogba.
Milinkovic-Savic has had another superb season for Lazio. He has registered an impressive tally of nine goals and 10 assists from 40 appearances in all competitions.
Besides his offensive distributions, the Serbian has excelled defensively with a combined tally of three tackles/interceptions per game. He has also won three aerial duels on average while completing 82 per cent passes.
Compared to Pogba, he has definitely fared better this term. Milinkovic-Savic is also two years younger than the World Cup winner and could be an upgrade for the next five years.
With Erik ten Hag set to become the next manager, there has been much talk about the Dutchman vetoing United’s targets in order to focus on pursuing emerging young stars.
However, we have seen from his time at Ajax that he prefers to play with a mixture of youth and experience. Milinkovic-Savic, who is in the prime of his career, would be a sublime signing.
While he is not a natural defensive midfielder, the Serbian performs his defensive duties with relative success while also engaging in counter-attacks with his regular forward runs.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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