Serie A side Lazio have rejected a €28million bid from Liverpool for midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to reports in Italy.
The box-to-box midfielder was linked with a move to Anfield over the weekend. FIFA accredited Sportke journalist Milos Markovic claimed Jurgen Klopp was preparing a £24.6million move for the player.
That bid now appears to have been rejected, according to the Corriere dello Sport with the Rome club apparently seeing he 22-year-old as a central figure in their rebuilding plans this summer.
Lazio are facing a fight to keep striker Keita Balde and defender Stefan de Vrij, who has also been mentioned as a target for Klopp, and club chief Claudio Lotito is desperate to keep hold of Milinkovic-Savic.
— Miloš Marković (@MiloseMarkovicu) June 10, 2017
Lotito has placed a reported €70m on the young Serbian’s head to ward off any potential suitors after the player had a wonderful 2016-17 campaign with the club.
Milinkovic-Savic, who only signed a new contract until 2022 in April 2017, arrived from Genk for £7.65million in August 2015 and last season he played 39 times, scoring seven goals and managing 10 assists.
“I am happy and honoured to continue my career here at Lazio, defending the colours of the first team in the Capital,” wrote the Serbian on Instagram in April.
“We will have many satisfying moments together.”
The Serbian, who has yet to be capped at senior level, can play as a deep-lying midfielder, in an advanced role or as conventional central midfielder, has also been linked to Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
He is represented by former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman, and that was believed to give Chelsea the upperhand, but Liverpool have now firmed up their interest in the 6ft 4in player.