Manchester United are interested in signing Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (today’s edition, page 19).
The Red Devils are currently uncertain over the future of midfielder Paul Pogba – whose contract expires this summer. It appears likely that the Frenchman could leave on a free transfer.
This could urge the hierarchy to pursue a like-for-like replacement. Milinkovic-Savic has been long linked with United, and it is now reported by Gazzetta dello Sport that he could be a transfer candidate.
Lazio are planning for a big spending spree with a midfielder, central defender and goalkeeper among their priorities. Milinkovic-Savic could reportedly be sacrificed to recoup funds.
Both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Milinkovic-Savic, but he may not come on the cheap with Lazio eyeing a fee between £59-67 million for his services.
Milinkovic-Savic has had another fine campaign for Lazio, bagging nine goals and 10 assists from 37 appearances across all competitions.
Aside from his goal contributions, the Serbian has also excelled defensively with 1.7 tackles and 2.9 aerial duels won per game, a statistic superior to Pogba.
Hence, he can be considered as a potential upgrade on the World Cup winner, but United have a battle on their hands to pursue his signature from Lazio.
While the Italian club could be reluctant to negotiate on the fee, the midfielder may also want the assurance of Champions League football next season.
That is far from guaranteed at Man Utd. They are just one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, but the north London club have a big advantage with three games in hand.
United have the chance to win the Champions League to reclaim their place in the competition, but that seems improbable with their inconsistent form this term.
Elsewhere, there has been speculation that Milinkovic-Savic would prefer a move to Paris over Manchester, making it a whole lot more difficult for United to lure him.
As things stand, Paris Saint-Germain appear favourites to sign Milinkovic-Savic, but United could spring a surprise as they have the financial firepower to compete.