Chelsea and Real Madrid are reportedly set to up the ante in their pursuit of Lazio’s Serbian midfield superstar Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

According to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea and Real Madrid are ready to step up their efforts to sign Lazio midfield ace Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer transfer window.

Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as one of the most highly sought-after midfielders in Europe over the past couple of years. Having signed for Lazio from Belgian club Genk in the summer of 2015, the Serbian international has grown into a key member of the Italian capital outfit.

Till date, Milinkovic-Savic has featured 198 times for Lazio, bagging 37 goals and 26 assists. The 25-year-old has been a key member of the team that has mounted a shock Serie A title challenge, contributing with five goals and assists each in 29 league outings.

Milinkovic-Savic’s rise in stature at Lazio hasn’t gone unnoticed, with a number of top clubs across Europe eyeing a swoop for the midfielder. Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for the 15-time capped Serbian international in the past, along with Tottenham and Manchester United, while Real Madrid have also shown interest.

Chelsea or Real Madrid for Milinkovic-Savic? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea or Real Madrid for Milinkovic-Savic? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

The midfield department is one area where Chelsea are extremely well-stocked. Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all available at Frank Lampard’s disposal, while Billy Gilmour is also an option. Furthermore, the club extended the contract of forgotten man Marco van Ginkel by another year as well.

So, going after Milinkovic-Savic does come out as a bit confusing. Nevertheless, the Blues are set to ramp up their efforts to sign the midfielder. But, they will have to stave off competition from Real Madrid, who are also in the market for midfield reinforcements.

The Merengues are seeking a long-term replacement for star midfielder Luka Modric, who is 34 years old. While they have been heavily linked with a move for Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek in the past, they have seemingly switched their attention towards Lazio star Milinkovic-Savic.

Milinkovic-Savic is contracted with the Serie A outfit till the summer of 2024. Champions League football will be a key factor in deciding where he ends up next season. Real Madrid look certain for a place in Europe’s premier competition, but Chelsea are in a heated battle with a number of other Premier League clubs for a top four finish.

Both Chelsea and Real Madrid will need to act fast, though, as PSG are reportedly readying an offer of €80 million for the Serb. It will be interesting to see how this transfer saga develops in the coming weeks.

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