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Man Utd open formal talks to sign £88m midfielder

Manchester United had originally been expected to sign two new central midfielders this summer due to Michael Carrick’s retirement and Marouane Fellaini’s expected departure.

However, Fellaini renewed his contract less than two weeks ago and we signed Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.  Shortly after, the rumours of us bringing in another central midfielder died down.

One central midfielder we had been strongly linked with prior to Fellaini signing a new deal was Lazio ace Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.  And it appears we have not given up trying to sign the Serbian international as reports in Italy today claim that we have held formal talks with the Rome club.

The 23-year-old has had two excellent seasons in Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists in the Italian top flight last season as Lazio only missed out on Champions League football on the final day of the season.

Milinkovic-Savic played all three of Serbia’s group stage matches at this summer’s World Cup where he performed admirably in a team that were beaten by both Brazil and Switzerland.

Italian outlet Il Messagero (via TeamTalk) are reporting the news that Manchester United officials have open discussions with their Lazio counterparts about the potential to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer.

The report states that the Italian side are willing to do business at a staggering €100 million (£88.6m) and that we could also face competition from Real Madrid.

Despite the player’s undoubted talent, I think it’s unlikely we’d be prepared to match Lazio’s asking price given that we have six midfielders in our first team squad now and that the money could be spent strengthening in other areas such as centre-back and left-back.