Premier League • England

Decorated midfielder will ‘gladly accept’ Arsenal move, but Edu threatens to derail Arteta with lowball bid

Arsenal chief Edu and manager Mikel Arteta

A complete and decorated midfielder has had a change of heart regarding joining Arsenal, though there’s a very real risk the Gunners won’t stump up the cash, per a report.

Arsenal remain on course to lift their first Premier League title since the invincible season of 2003/04. The Gunners hold an eight-point advantage that could be extended on Saturday. Man City host Liverpool in the early kick-off, while Arsenal face Leeds at 3pm.

A troubling injury update on Erling Haaland is casting doubt over whether the Norwegian will feature against the Reds. Defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s side could be fatal to City’s hopes of reeling Arsenal in.

Yet despite Arsenal’s season going so smoothly, the north London club are unwilling to rest on their laurels.

Indeed, a move for a high class central midfielder is believed to be their primary goal in the market this summer.

West Ham’s Declan Rice is understood to be atop their shortlist. If the Hammers are unwilling to do business or the finances involved don’t make sense, a second attempt to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo could take shape.

Elsewhere, the Gunners are among a cluster of English sides who’ve repeatedly been linked with Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in recent years.

The Serbian has perennially been mentioned alongside a move away, though perhaps for the first time, an exit is looking odds-on this summer.

The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of next season and as such, this summer represents Lazio’s perfect time to cash in.

Now a fresh update from Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport on Thursday has shed new light on where Milinkovic-Savic might end up.

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Lazio ace greenlights Arsenal move, but will they pay?

Via Sport Witness, it’s claimed all three of the player, his agent and Lazio too are aligning to the thinking an exit is best for all involved.

Arsenal’s remarkable rise this season has prompted Milinkovic-Savic to do a U-turn and after snubbing the idea of joining them last year, will now ‘gladly accept’ a move this time around.

His agent – former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman – has promised Lazio he’ll bring in €40m (approx. £35m) for Milinkovic-Savic.

However, it’s claimed there’s a very real risk would-be suitors won’t bid higher than €20m-€25m (approx. £17.5m-£22m). The reasoning there is teams won’t meet the player’s full valuation in the knowledge he’ll be available for nothing one year later.

Lazio president, Claudio Lotito, will reportedly reject any cut-price offers. As such, if Arsenal – or any other suitor – wishes to have Milinkovic-Savic in their ranks for next season, they’ll have to stump up the full asking price.

Milinkovic-Savic remains one of Serie A’s finest midfielders and has been well decorated during his time in Italy.

Indeed, he was named the league’s best midfielder for the 2018/19 campaign and has been named in Serie A’s team of the season twice.

He’s Lazio’s two-time and reigning player of the year and as a box-to-box midfielder, impacts the game at both ends of the pitch.

He’s notched 14 goal contributions across all competitions this term and but for his contract situation, would be valued far higher than the €40m Lazio are prepared to accept in a few months’ time.

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