The in-demand Serbian midfielder has a transfer battle brewing on for his services with Juventus and Manchester United battling it out in this transfer window.
Manchester United’s plans to bring in Serbia and Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have been hampered with Juventus now being considered as the front-runner in the chase. According to Calciomercato, the Serbian might prefer a move to Juventus first, over Manchester United, but has not ruled out a move to Old Trafford.
The report suggests that Milinkovic-Savic has asked his entourage to make a move to Juventus a priority, but is also ready to keep his options open while being aware of Manchester United’s growing interest in him. While he may not have chosen his next club, one thing for sure is that the Serbian will be leaving Lazio in this transfer window.
Lazio have reportedly slapped a €100 million price tag on their star midfielder, which may resemble a problem for potential suitors. Lazio, on the other hand, are in a position where no likely club can try to bring that price tag down, for the club had a successful season and have seemingly no specific need to sell their star players.
Primarily a central midfielder, Milinkovic-Savic could extend his versatility from being a defensive midfielder to a box-to-box player, much in the mould of Paul Pogba. In the last season, where Lazio was one of the best performing teams in Italy, the Serb contributed with 14 goals and 9 assists in 48 games in all competitions.
The transfer saga does have a twist, with Juventus reportedly ready to include Daniele Rugani as part of any deal to bring Milinkovic-Savic to Turin. After Stefen De Vrij made his move from Lazio to Inter in the last few days, the former are on the lookout for a central defender and Rugani could fit the bill. Juventus, however, value him at €40 million and he could become a sweetener in a deal for Milinkovic-Savic.
Juventus are also reportedly interested in bringing back Paul Pogba to Turin, but already know the price would be too high for him considering they, themselves sold him for £89 million two years ago to Manchester United. On the other hand, Manchester United are also reportedly looking to offload Pogba and want Milinkovic-Savic as his replacement.
If Juventus are to get their man, the Turin club are reportedly ready to offer the Serbian a contract worth more than the €6 million per year deal they have in place for Emre Can. On the other hand, Juventus would also need to sell some of their players to generate the funds necessary to bring the Serbia international, especially in the scenario where Rugani does not want to leave.
Manchester United are on the lookout for a central midfielder as many of their stars in that position have uncertain futures ahead of them. Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba have all uncertain prospects, and also the fact that Michael Carrick’s retirement has put United on the market for a high-profile midfielder.
The future lies in the hands of Milinkovic-Savic to decide on his next destination. There are factors to consider, as he knows at Juventus he would be immediately considered a superstar and automatic player to start, while at United that might not be the case quickly. Any deal is expected to conclude before the World Cup.