Premier League • England

Arsenal get green light to sign classy midfielder on Man Utd radar for massively reduced rate

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Arsenal can complete a two-stage deal to sign a Serie A midfielder this month, and why the total cost of buying the Man Utd-linked star would be a fraction of his true value has been revealed.

The Gunners’ primary focus this month has been adding firepower in the final third. Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk is the main focus and the Ukraine winger heavily favours a move to Arsenal over Chelsea.

The latest on that front can be found here, but fresh reports out of Italy have put an incredible midfield coup in the frame.

Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is no stranger to transfer links. Indeed, not a window goes by when the Serbian isn’t linked with a move to the Premier League.

Manchester United are perennially named alongside a switch, though even if their interest ever was real, Lazio’s president always priced them out of a move.

Claudio Lotito stated in October any suitors must part ways with at least £105m if they’re to sign Milinkovic-Savic. Colossal figures have always been synonymous with a Milinkovic-Savic move in recent times.

The 27-year-old is a superb player in his own right and has scooped Lazio’s Player of the Season award two years running.

He’s bagged 10 goal contributions in 16 Serie A matches this term and his physicality looks tailor-made for the Premier League.

Nevertheless, no club would readily part ways with a nine-figure sum for the 27-year-old. But according to TuttoJuve, new suitors this month may not have to.

Contract stand-off sees Lazio wave the white flag

Firstly, they name Juventus and Arsenal as the player’s primary suitors. They term both clubs ‘ready’ to try their hand for a winter window coup.

Milinkovic-Savic was mentioned alongside Arsenal by another Italian publication in early-December. Corriere della Sera claimed Arsenal were ‘pressing on the player’ and would be ‘willing to try the “all-in” in January’ to secure a deal.

In what form that proposed bid could be tabled has now come to light.

TuttoJuve report Lotito is sick of the lack of progress over a new contract for his midfielder. Milinkovic-Savic’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and the player is losing value the closer he gets to that date.

As such, it’s reported Lazio will now ‘accept’ a two-pronged deal for a grand total of €50m (approx. £44m) that would see Milinkovic-Savic move this month.

A six-month loan deal with an ‘obligation’ to buy would be satisfactory for Lazio. The loan would come with a fee of €10m (approx. £8.8m), with the summer obligation set at €40m (approx. £35.2m).

The Gunners have been linked with a midfield buy this month. Youri Tielemans and Danilo of Palmeiras draw frequent mentions.

However, Tielemans is understood to have priced himself out of a move, while Nottingham Forest have bid £18m for Danilo.

Milinkovic-Savic would arguably be an upgrade on both of those players anyway, and is now seemingly available for a fraction of his true value.

With Lazio determining the player can leave, the ball is now in Arsenal’s court. In a season where they’re pushing for their first league title since 2004, what they do in January could be decisive one way or another.

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